Are you a night owl?
A “night owl” is often used to describe people who stay up late and for being active in the nighttime for work, pleasure, or anything else. Unwittingly, a creature from our biodiversity is generalized as something which is not completely true.
Owls are mainly classified as nocturnal (active at night) birds, however, as per the facts, more than 20% of species are crepuscular (both day and night) and a few are completely diurnal (active in the daytime). Therefore to characterize all owls as species of dark and night is not completely correct.
Irrespective of their nightly adventures, Owls are amazing creatures, with those rounded eyes they make a spectacle for any beholders. Probably that is the reason, why it is typical to find eclectic designs, artifacts, and sculptures representing this creature in our homes.
It is not only adults, even children are often fascinated by these birds. Even in the celebrated Harry Potter series, owls are shown carrying messages, delivering packages, and providing companionship to characters.
Let us go through some interesting facts to know them better.
- Owls belong to the Strigiform bird group, which has more than 200 owl species and they are found all across the globe except in polar regions.
- Owls have extremely flexible necks that can move 135 degrees in either direction, which means they can make 270 degrees of movement.
- The fascinating Owls’ eyes are called tubes that cannot turn, therefore the flexibility of the neck gives them the ability to sight objects in different directions.
- Owls’ wings are broad which allows them to glide while flying. This ability also helps them to fly silently and catch their prey unaware.
- Many owls have ears that are of different sizes and are placed asymmetrically. This ear placement allows the owl to receive sounds at slightly different times.
- Their keen eyesight, exceptional hearing ability, and deft movements make them expert hunters
- Owls are carnivores, who mainly consume rodents, small and medium-sized mammals, insects, fish, and other birds. These birds also do not chew their food as they don’t have teeth. Instead, they swallow their captured prey in whole or in large chunks.
- Generally, owls are solitary animals, but when a group of owls gets together it is called a parliament.
- Female owls are larger, heavier, and more aggressive than males. During courtship, males impress females by bringing offerings to a female to convince her of their intentions. He may also perform a “sky dance” that involves tricks while flying.
- The number of babies depends on the food supply. If supplies are low, an owl may not lay a single egg. In other years, a mother owl could lay anywhere from one to 14 eggs.
- Many owls sleep in broad daylight hidden in plain sight as they easily camouflage into their surroundings.
- Owls are not great at building their own nests and prefer to nest in cavities or in the crotch of trees.
- Apart from their nightly adventures, owls are known for their wisdom. In many cultures, owls are often revered. In Hindu customs, Owls are often associated with auspiciousness and good luck because it is referred to as companion of the goddess Lakshmi. Similarly in Greek culture, owls are seen with the goddess Athena on her shoulder.
Here is a video on the Change Started YouTube channel, that will give you a visual perspective of Owls and their interesting facts.