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Thread: Owls

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    Admin denise's Avatar
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    Owls

    Owls are classic birds of prey. There are more than 200 species, most are solitary and nocturnal, and they live worldwide with the exception of Antarctica.

    Owls have a large head and large eyes that face forwards (different to other birds, whose eyes are on the sides of their head). This eye placement gives them binocular vision and very precise depth perception. Owls cannot move their eyes within their sockets like humans can. In order to change views, they have to move their entire head, which has a range of movement of 135 degrees in either direction, allowing them to look behind their own shoulders! Owls see in black and white, and are far-sighted, this unable to see anything clearly within a few inches of their eyes. Their far vision, especially in low light, is exceptionally good.

    Owls use their keen sense of sight and hearing to hunt prey in the dark. Their fluffy feathers, muffle the sound of their powerful wings and give them an almost silent flight. Owls hunt and eat rodents, mice, insects, frogs, and birds. Owls are close to the top of the food web and have no major predators.


    Barred Owl, Strix varia, at Peacock Springs
    Photo courtesy of Janet Stape


    Close up of barred owl
    Photo courtesy of US Fish and Wildlife Service
    Last edited by denise; 10-05-2008 at 10:10 PM.
    Denise Byrne
    Marine Biologist/OW, Tech and Cave Instructor
    denise@dayo.com
    Orlando, Florida

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