When you quiz a random stranger about birds, an owl is perhaps the last thing which you shall hear coming out of their mouth. They are in fact the hotshot horror movie stars which can be seen perching on shady tress in the creepiest fashion imaginable. But very few people know there is another side to this ‘enigmatic’ personality of owls, and below, to name a few.
Owls are amongst the very few creatures on the earth, with asymmetrical ears. The variance in heights of their location on an owl’s head, enable them to ascertain the direction and intensity of sounds better. This is what makes an owl a vicious predator.
An advanced blood pooling mechanism drives blood to their eyes and brains in situations, enabling them to rotate their heads to almost 270 degrees. Their incredible blood flow adaptions speaks of powering their brains and eyes as times when they face instant neck movement which leads to blood cut-off in such peculiar regions.
C.S Lewis in his epic – ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ referred to a meeting of owls as a ‘parliament’, which is prevalently used even today. Imagine the fame and esteemed dignity of these crazy eyed creatures whose abilities are not confined to the daylight.
Owls are amongst the very few species of birds, who relish hunting their own kind. Great horned owls are known to be deadly predators of the puny barred owls. Technically it is called Cannibalism, an act on predation upon same category of species. Owls are even lovable and spooky at times.
Owls are one species which comes in all sizes, if you may. While the Elf owl is only about 6 inches tall, the North American native Great Grey owl can stand as tall as 32 inches! Owls belong to a group of species which are renowned for their upright stance, nocturnal abilities, broad head and binocular vision. Their ability to hear is astonishingly unbelievable fueled by their silent behavioral nature. Owls are often found to fly in symmetry producing a sheer state of equilibrium.
You thought anacondas were the vicious predators swallowing their prey in full, meet the Barn owl. This mean machines engulf it’s prey with it’s skin, bones and everything, and is known to feast upon about a 1000 mice each year.
The Northern Saw-Wet owl is known to be a long traveler overseas, as long as 70 miles straight. These ‘little birds of prey’ crosses large water bodies without a tint of exhaustion on their face. During flight, owls use their ill-positioned ears to take up sounds from multiple directions only to lead bird in the prominent range.
The tube shaped eyes of an owl are the true reason behind its immobile binocular vision. Their immobile produces an unconventional vision which is compensated adeptly by their ability to rotate their heads for around 270 degrees. And yes, they have no true eyeballs, but tube shaped binocular eyes.
Many owls are not known to screech or hoot, sounds linked to owls for centuries. Some are stereotyped with dull whistling sounds when it comes to hooting calls. In a true sense, the screech is actually a rapidly done whistling which produces bouncing sound effect.
Contrary to the prevalent beliefs, many owls are also herbivores and relish plant and seed diets. They are believed to cultivate dung around their nest periphery to fascinate dung beetles.
Owls have always been a curious subject of study to bird enthusiasts for their intriguing personality and ability to draw onlooker’s attention.