12 Bizarre Facts About Owls

Owls are excellent flyers and great hunters. Everyone knows that their night vision is superb. If you have received a compliment “wise like an owl,” then that means the person considers you intelligent and wise. That’s because this bird represents wisdom. Not only are they known for their intelligence, but the owl is one of the few birds with stunning wide eyes. There’s no denying they are the cutest. What you might not know is the fact that owls have some interesting secrets. In this post, we will discuss a few fun facts about owls. 

1. Owls can’t Move Their Eyes but can Turn their Heads

Amazing facts about owls
Photo by Dominik VO on Unsplash

People often wonder how owls can rotate their heads up to 270 degrees effortlessly. Well, these creatures can’t move their eyes. While they can’t move their eyes, they have one of the sharpest eyes. They can catch their prey from a great distance easily.

Perhaps, that’s why they can turn their heads. They could turn their heads to see things in all directions. Humans can’t do that as it will stop the blood supply to our brain. Besides that, we will end up snapping our neck. Owls, on the other hand, have blood reservoirs that keep supplying the blood to the brain even when they turn their heads upside down or in different directions.

2. Harry Potter Made them Popular

Harry potter popularized owls

Owls were doing great until Harry Potter highlighted some interesting and unique facts about this cute creature and made it more popular. The Harry Potter books and films familiarized viewers with many different species of owls. Those who did not watch the Harry Potter movies displayed owls as the best pets and communication medium. Owls helped deliver letters and messages.

3. Owls Eye Colors can Tell You a Lot

Owls eyes are tubular
Photo by James Toose on Unsplash

You only need to look at the owl’s eyes to know what food they prefer and what time they like to hunt. If you have seen the owl’s eyes closely, chances are you know they have tubular eyes, which means they’re cylindrical. 

Owls with red and bright orange eyes tend to hunt their prey in the evening. If it’s yellow, then they like to catch their prey during the day. Most owls, however, have black and brown eyes. These are nocturnal.

4. They have Irregular Ears

Owls have asysmmetrical ears
Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash

Another cute fact about owl is that they have asymmetrical ears, meaning the ears are located at different spots on their head. These ears can be of different sizes. One ear could be larger than the other one. What makes these asymmetrical ears useful is that it enhances their ability to locate their prey even if they cannot catch them with the eyes. Due to 

their irregular-shaped ears, the owls tend to hear the same noise twice.

5. A Group of Owls is Known as Parliament

A Group of Owls is Known as Parliament
APhoto by Tom Rogers on Unsplash

It might sound a bit weird because we usually see owls alone, but gatherings are common. They are independent creatures when they fly and hunt alone. However, when many owls gather in a group, that’s known as the parliament. The main reason it’s called a parliament is that owls are considered one of the wisest and intelligent birds.

6. Owls date back millions of years

Owls are millions of years old
Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash

The history of the owl dates back to 50 million ago. They happen to be one of the oldest birds on Earth. Researchers and experts have found owl fossils from around when the dinosaurs started going extinct.  

7.  They Fly Slowly and Quietly

Owls fly slow and quiet.
Photo by Ronan Furuta on Unsplash

Owls are different from other predatory birds like Falcons. The latter has a habit of flying at an extremely high speed when they are hunting. Owls, on the other hand, tend to fly slowly and quietly. Falcons can fly at 200 mph. Owls, however, keep the speed 40 mph. 

They might not be the fastest birds, but owls can hunt the prey without getting caught. Another reason for their quiet and slow-flying habit is their massive wings. The size of the owl wings is larger than their bodies. Their feathers are thick. They can absorb noise when this bird is flying. Eagles and falcons produce a lot of noise when they are flying. That’s why they fly at high speed to catch the prey before it can escape.

8. Owls Throws up Frequently

Owls are constantly throwing up
Photo by Art Siegel

This is one of my favorite owl facts, if not my favorite animal fact in general. One of the common problems the birds face is difficulty in chewing the food. Owls face the same issue. Instead of chewing, this cute creature swallows the prey. Owls don’t have an organ or a place that could hold the swallowed food for digestion. Whatever this creature eats reaches the gizzard. Owls not only lack the food holding tanks, but they have a weak digestive system. These birds cannot eat fur, bones, and feathers. There is a good chance they will throw up the food immediately if they swallow the whole animal without chewing.

9. They are Natural Pest Controls

Owls are great for pest control
Photo by Keith Lazarus on Unsplash

Owls are capable of eating up to a thousand mice every year. That’s one of the reasons why you will find pet owls on farms. Farmers use owls to get rid of the pests and rodents that can ruin the crops. Farmers often use barn owls for pest controls. It is one of the safest pest control methods.

10.  Barn Owls have Divorces

Owls can get divorces
Photo by Keith Lazarus on Unsplash

One of the funniest facts about owls is that they get divorces. The main reason the couple separate is because they want a compatible mate. Owls do not look for an attractive partner; they would rather settle with a compatible one. After separation, the female owl spends a lot of time searching for a new partner. If the pair starts to make fewer eggs, that’s a sign they will separate soon.

11.  Babies Often sleep Facedown

Owl babies sleep facedown

One thing humans and owls have in common is that we’re born with big heads. Because of that, baby owls will sleep facedown on the ground.  

12. Their legs are longer than they look.

Owls have long skinny legs

This one is pretty self-explanatory.

We hope you enjoyed learning some amazing facts about owls!

Alan Behrens
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