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Uploaded on on Jul 15, 2021

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Owls belong to the Strigiformes order, which contains approximately 200 species of primarily nocturnal and solitary birds of prey with an erect stance, a big, wide head, binocular eyesight, binaural hearing, keen claws, and quiet flying feathers. The diurnal northern hawk-owl and the gregarious burrowing owl are two exceptions.

Small animals, insects, and other birds are the primary prey of owls, however a few species specialize in fish hunting. Except for the polar ice caps and a few isolated islands, they can be found in every part of the world. The genuine (or typical) owl family, Strigidae, and the barn-owl family, Tytonidae, are the two families of owls.

Owls have big, forward-facing eyes and earholes, a hawk-like beak, a flat face, and a prominent circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disc. The disc’s feathers may be modified to concentrate sounds from various distances onto the owls’ asymmetrically positioned ear canals. Most birds of prey have eyes on the sides of their heads, but the owl’s forward-facing eyes are stereoscopic, allowing them the better sense of depth awareness required for low-light hunting.

Although owls have binocular vision, their big eyes, like those of most other birds, are fixed in their sockets, requiring them to swivel their entire heads to change viewpoints. Owls can’t see anything within a few millimeters of their eyes since they’re farsighted. Filoplumes—hairlike feathers on the beak and foot that function as “feelers”—allow owls to detect caught prey. Their distant eyesight is superb, especially in low light.

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Owls’ heads and necks may swivel up to 270 degrees. Owls have 14 neck vertebrae compared to seven in humans, giving them additional flexibility in their necks. They also have circulatory system adaptations that allow them to rotate without cutting off blood to the brain: the foramina in their vertebrae through which the vertebral arteries pass are about 10 times the diameter of the artery, rather than about the same size as the artery as in humans; the vertebral arteries enter the cervical vertebrae higher than in other birds, giving the vessels some extra room; and the vertebral arteries enter the cervical vertebrae higher than in other birds, giving the vessels some This impact is bolstered by further anastomoses between the carotid and vertebral arteries.

The elf owl is the tiniest owl, weighing just 31 g (1+332 oz) and about 13.5 cm (5+14) in length (Micrathene whitneyi). The Tamaulipas pygmy owl (Xenoglaux loweryi) and the lesser known long-whiskered owlet (Xenoglaux loweryi) are both around the same size but somewhat heavier (Glaucidium sanchezi). The Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) and Blakiston’s fish owl are the two biggest owls, both of which are eagle owls (Bubo blakistoni). These species’ biggest females are 71 cm (28 in) long, with a wing span of 190 cm (75 in) and a weight of 4.2 kg (9+14% lb).

Distinct owl species make different sounds; this diversity of cries helps owls find mates or announce their presence to prospective competitors, as well as ornithologists and birders locate and differentiate these birds. As previously stated, owls’ facial discs aid them in funneling prey sounds to their ears. For improved directional localization, several animals put these discs asymmetrically.

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