August 4, 2016 is National Owl Awareness Day. Let's all give a shout out (or a hoot) to help celebrate owls on their special day. Just kick off your shoes, sit back and enjoy some quick animal facts about this unique bird of prey and you may be lucky enough to see one today.
With over 200 species of owls, they are one of the most interesting of all birds.
So what's the big deal about owls anyway?
Owls have a special anatomy that most birds of prey don't have. Check out those big beautiful eyes. Owl's eyes are fixed in their eye sockets so they can't move them side to side like humans or most other animals. They need to turn their heads in order to see what is next to them. Their eyes look straight ahead, and have binocular vision, which means they can see with both eyes at the same time. Owls can rotate their heads 270 degrees in both directions without having to turn their bodies around to see behind them.
Owls have acute hearing to help them locate and capture prey. Their ears are under their feathers behind their eyes. Some owls like the Great Horned Owl pictured above have ear tufts, which are feathers giving them the appearance of having ears on top of their heads.
Owls have special feather adaptations to help lessen the sound of the wings flapping while in flight making it easier to sneak up on prey.
Most owls are nocturnal, (active at night). They have large strong talons with two toes in front and two in back to help grip their prey easily. They hold their prey while they use their sharp beaks to tear it. Their beaks are partially covered with feathers giving it a smaller appearance. Owls eat rabbits, mice, insects, mole, some birds, in vertebrae and vertebrae animals.
Wise or Scary Owl
For years, many cultures have had mixed feelings about owls. Are they good luck, or back luck to have them around. They are sometimes used around Halloween or in Horror movies to scare people. They are sometimes thought of as "Death at the Door" However, other folks consider them wise or helpful. After all, they do keep the insect and rodent population down. :)
As we come to a close for National Owl Awareness Day, I will leave you with these two adorable commercials with owls. Owls are a hoot aren't they!
Here is a commercial from 1977 with "Woodsy Owl in Give a Hoot Don't Pollute". I Love this song and the message it gives. :)