Fast Facts About Owls
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Fast Facts About Owls

what you want to know about owls

The movie “The Legend of the Guardians: the Owls of Ga’hoole” is already showing in our local cinemas and I was able to see it on 3D. The movie is a very entertaining film and I highly recommend it as a family viewing affair. This article however is not a critic on the movie. Rather, this article would discuss facts about owls.

Owls are used as a symbol of wisdom or great knowledge but are they really intelligent? The owl as a symbol of wisdom dates back to the ancient Greece as the symbol of Athena, the goddess of wisdom hence the association of the owl to wisdom. However, owls are really not that intelligent having eyes that are bigger than their brains but since they are birds of prey, they have the natural instincts of predators and these instincts are all they need to survive in the wilds.

As birds of prey, owls usually hunt small mammals, insects, and some owl species prefer to hunt fish. Their hunting style is mostly through stealth and surprise. By having dull colorations, owls can render themselves quite invisible under certain conditions which makes it easier for them to catch their prey. Also, the wings of these birds are serrated at the edges muffling wing beats making their flight super silent, all the more to make a surprise attack on their prey. Owls, compared to other birds of prey or raptors are nocturnal, they are active at night and sleep during the day. As they sleep during the day they usually camouflage themselves in trees by stretching themselves as tall and straight as they can and with their ear tufts standing straight up. With this erect posture and with eyes closed, they will appear to be a part of the tree, as such they are going to have undisturbed sleep and perfectly safe from other predators.

In the film, there was a scene showing an owlet making a funny face, it turns out that the young bird was regurgitating a pellet. Owl pellets are the indigestible parts of the owl’s prey such as feathers, bones and scales usually spit up by the owl about 6 to 8 hours after its meal.

Owls have been around for a long time and there are fossils of owls dating back 70 to 80 million years ago. These may have contributed to the myths and legends present today about owls. These birds of prey can be found on most continents except Antarctica and there are diverse views of owls in different cultures. For example, some Northern Indian tribe consider owls as an omen of death while in Europe, in the early times, a dead owl is known to ward off disease, hail or lightning.

While there may be different views on owls, there are groups who are fascinated by owls and are dedicated in observing the behaviour of owls and how these birds live in their natural habitat. There are bird watching groups who organize night time field trips all the more to observe owls while in action. There can still be a lot to learn from owls despite being disputed as an intelligent species.

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Comments (3)

Very interesting.

I have a few very interesting owl stories. Cool but vicious birds. Highly perceptive--which I see as intelligence. Interesting article.

Really cool article Maria A. I like owls myself.