Owls – birds, which differ from the rest of its physiology and lifestyle. They are mainly nocturnal, as well see in the dark. Sharp claws allow them to hunt down and instantly kill his victim. What are the different types of owls and what are their distinguishing features? This is what we now discuss. It should be noted that there are about 220 species, but we consider the most interesting of them.
It is important to say a few words about the size of these birds. The smallest member of what he, in fact, got its name – pygmy owl. The weight of the birds only 50-80 grams and length up to 20 inches. The biggest owl-owl. Often there are individuals, which can reach impressive sizes. Length of 60-75 cm and a weight up to 4 kilograms. However, regardless of size, all kinds of owls have a large head with a fluffy tail, because of what many might think that it is round. Due to its specific plumage is a flat facial disc. Large and beautiful eyes – this is what many are attracted to these predators. Their eyeball is able to capture large streams of light with low intensity, which allows them to see and track his prey in the night.
Ears owls have normal, not having the outer shell. For example, “long-eared owl” has bunches of additional sensitive feathers, which improve the conduction of sound directly to the ear. The asymmetrical arrangement, the predator with high precision finds the source of the sound, allowing you to quickly navigate. You should pay attention to the fact that the hearing for owls more important than the vision is the main sense organ because without it, the bird simply will not be able to hunt. Paws all species of owls are very strong with sharp claws that allows you to instantly kill his victim.
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Let's look at several groups of predators, which are the most expressive and interesting. We begin with the tawny owl. This is truly a night owl-foodie who prefers to see in your menu just mouse. But if very tight with the production may be interrupted young pigeons that have not yet left their nests, or terrestrial birds. This species is found throughout Europe, but mostly in Spain, Greece, etc. Previously, it was assumed that they also live in Siberia, but research yielded no results. The length of the largest specimens can reach two feet, a wingspan of one meter.
The Ural owl-owl, which is considered the largest of all currently known owls. Length of adult male about 70 inches, and the wingspan can be 120 cm In contrast to all other owl of representatives, there is absolutely no difference between individuals of different sex. Specifically, this type often is not limited to hunting mice. They can also hunt rabbits, grouse or rabbits. There were even cases of collision herons and long tail of the tawny owl, fortunately, both survived.
Cave owl is widespread in America. She pulls nests in the ground, often on plains hills. Very often nests in the burrows of others, such as anteaters or armadillos. The interesting thing is that this owl with other mammals can live quite peacefully in the same hole. Proof was repeatedly captured by eyewitnesses.
“King of night" - so called one of the largest representatives of the family owl. The length of the body of this giant, sometimes up to 78 inches, and a wingspan of five feet. Found almost in all the countries of the Old world. Despite widespread habitat, "king of night" can not be called ordinary, because it is not as common. In Russian forests, the owl is very rare, it even brought in the Red book. It is noteworthy that this predator is not practically wanders, it stays in place nests from year to year. As for hunting, looking for food, the owl only comes out at night. Both small and large vertebrates can become his prey. Of course, mice love all kinds of owls, as well as representatives of the cat, so they owl gives the most attention to.
Long-Eared owl-this is a mini version of owl. This predator differs from the above in that it has a slim torso and incredibly developed ear. Additional bundles of feathers make this owl's hearing is somewhat better. It should be noted that this specific kind of birds are perceived by other types slightly better. If the owl and can not stand other winged inhabitants, the long-eared owl such a perturbation does not cause. She's not as aggressive and more sociable. Sometimes you can see long-eared owls are about 20 or more individuals on the same tree. So they sit until late at night, and then the whole pack go hunting.
Adults reach 71 centimeters in length, and the wingspan is over five feet. The color depends on age. The younger the individual, the more brown spots all over the body. Closer to the age of the bird may become quite white. Unfortunately, such individuals are very rare and manynaturalists for years to hunt down owls, long-lived. White owl prefers solitude, and the man does not believe his friend for justified reasons. Because of this, predator likes remote area, where he stays most of his life. Most often found in the Tundra and is a magnificent sight, especially if we are talking about a major “wise” the representative of the brown spots. Witnessed the attacks on the game, which was shot by a hunter. But in most cases, this representative of the owl behaves very cautiously and trying not to catch the eye of the person. Let's talk more about this predator.
In fact, the white owl in the photo that my dream is to make the most sophisticated researchers, found in many countries and localities. First and foremost is, of course, the tundra, but in practice a bird can fly and a few to the North. Travelers on their way to the pole constantly met the predator, so it's hard to tell where it ends the habitat of the white owls. Bank of Spitzbergen, in particular the North-West and South, is also inhabited by these creatures but in small quantities. Occasionally was it possible to observe these owls and near Novosibirsk banks. As for the tundra, then all areas it is found more or less evenly. But you can find a pattern: the more lemmings, which are the main food in this area, the more polar owls, and Vice versa. In principle, a polar owl, a photo of which is necessary to see not so rare, but because it is widespread in the cold parts of the planet, people are faced with her as often.
It's safe to say that the main reason for the high mortality rate of owls is starvation. Owls are very dependent on rodent populations. In a bad year killed about 30-60% of young individuals. If small rodents are quite a lot, the owl population increases significantly. Fortunately, this is not so much dependent on this, here, rather, the big role plays a man who preys on the bird. Owls breed once a year around mid-may. Masonry viciifolia females within 30-34 days. Sometimes the number of eggs reaches 11 units, but the average bird lays 4-6 eggs. The role of the male is the production of food for females, and then to brood. Occasionally it happens, that female dies, and the clutch continued to hatch male. By the way, despite the fact that the owl is a bird of prey and large fish quite often die, for example, from the shots of hunters or starvation, the pair they choose once for life. This applies not only to the polar owls, but many other species of birds in this group.
As noted above, the color of these owls varies with age. Young individuals are completely mottled, have brown spots all over the body, while the bird is middle age colored with longitudinal spots on the head and a cross on the body. But the greatest interest to researchers are individuals of advanced age. If you are able to meet a very old owl, it is quite possible that it will be completely white, without any spots. But as the owl is a bird of prey, it does not always survive to old age, therefore, causes unhealthy interest of poachers who are willing to shoot birds for their own benefit. No wonder these predators throughout its life trying to avoid people. But it so happens that people got too close, in this case snowy owl pretending to be wounded or even dead. But if the threat has passed quickly up and away. It's safe to say that the white owl-a bird that, first of all, at any cost trying to keep their offspring, so will always be there to protect him. To do this, the male guards the female, watching from the mountain, and at the slightest threat sending a signal to her cry.
This group of predators is that they hunt not only at night and evening, but Sunny day. This often happens in the afternoon when the owl especially hungry. Before you start hunting, the bird flies on a high hill or mountain, where, and conducts surveillance for some time. As snowy owl-bird hunting on relatively small plots of land, then within a day it is possible not to lose sight of. Of course, sometimes even the most experienced experts in owls can't get close to a distance shot of this bird. Most individuals are extremely fearful, despite the fact that the direct threat they come across very rarely, due to poor population of their habitat. Perhaps such a reaction suggests a well developed instinct of self-preservation. Not to mention that the snowy owl-a bird that is able to rebut such daytime predators like a hawk or eagle. On large animals, they rarely attack, but on the nest with young owlets very often to fall back on.
The Majority of researchers from all over the world gradually come to the conclusion that the family owl – an independent party. Talking about this anatomical features, many ofwhich have nothing to do with daytime predators. However, you need to understand that different groups of owls have nothing to do with each other except anatomy. Some hunt at night, and other day preferably. For example, owl has an impressive size, and the pygmy owl is the complete opposite of her. If hawk-owls have some similarities with hawks and long-eared owls - owls, those owls can be considered in some way unique birds, though, because nests of these raptors often live ducks and other waterfowl. And they lived peacefully next to each other. This is because the owl never hunt close to its nest, unlike some other predators. Although the period of hunger it's possible. In any case, you need at least once to see how food produces a night owl. Photos, bird which hunts, there is a huge variety, but they all produced hard work.
For many years, scientists carried out various studies, therefore today we have much information about these predators. For example, despite the fact that the owl is a night bird, she can't see in total darkness, as people. So if you put a predator in a dark room, where fall the rays of light, and you run to the rodent, it will be eaten only when you make any sort of rustle or sound. But still the unnatural conditions for finding food is also affected, because it is a bird of the forest. The owl is in many ways the perfect predator.
Sometimes even between relatives there are conflicts. In this case the night owl chooses a variety of methods of defence, trying to scare the barn owl, but the owl or other large animals in hiding, often disguised in the branches of trees. It is also noteworthy that the owl can hear well even when flying. Most importantly – the victim is killed with a probability of 99%, so we can say that is wrong owl is extremely rare.
Well, perhaps, all that can be said about who this owl. The description of the bird can vary depending on its type. But all are deadly predators-killers. Silent flight, excellent hearing and eyesight, and sharp claws make themselves known. It is difficult to say good or bad owls. Small species only hunt rodents that harm farmland, larger also can kill ducks and hares, and rabbits, to the detriment of agriculture.
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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."
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