Owls are birds of prey that represent the Aves class and the Strigiformes Order.
The birds of prey prefer to hunt in the dark. Owls can be found almost on all continents.
Because these birds have some differences in body structure, they had to be classified as a separate, independent species.
The skeleton structure of owls has several important features. For example, the structure of the skeleton of owls:
- All the main bones have their characteristic spurs.
- The lower jaw has 3 points of articulation with the skull.
- The third finger has a much smaller size.
- The outer fingers can bend backward.
A large part of the species has a characteristic indentation, which is located on the back of the chest bone.
As you know, these predators have no problem turning their heads by 270 degrees. This is possible due to the formed extensions of carotid arteries closer to the level of the lower jaw. As a result, increased the number of smaller blood vessels associated with larger arteries. These arteries are connected using a special jumper-anastomosis, which does not allow for critical contraction of blood vessels.
Owls differ in the fact that they have a kind of front disk, consisting of 5 rows of hard and punched feathers, forming a radiant corolla. The fly feathers are characterized by the presence of rounded ends, as well as the bend towards the body. Some species have fringes or sawn endings on the outer pods of the first three feathers. Due to this feature, owls can fly quite quietly. The third and fourth quill is slightly longer. Helm feathers are located on a relatively short tail and also have a characteristic bend, but only downwards. The owl’s legs are almost completely covered with a small but dense plumage.
Almost all types of owls, belonging to the group “Owls”, have a relatively dull color of their body, although these shades are combined with the environment, especially in the dark.
Owls have sharp and long claws, which are characterized by curvature, like the beak of this bird. The beak ends with a kind of small hook, with which the owl makes a kind of sounds like a snap. The owl’s wolf is short and covered with bristly feathers. Regardless of its appearance, the owl is distinguished by the presence of fairly large eyes looking forward. This indicates that the eye sockets are located at the front of the skull. It is believed that owls do not distinguish between colors and see the world around them in black and white gradations.
Owls also see quite well in the daytime, although many believe that it is not. In fact, the eyes of this predator are not characterized by high sensitivity to daylight. Owl’s pupil is narrowing and dilating not only in fluctuating light conditions but also at every breath and exhalation. The owl has a uniquely fine hearing. Specialists believe it is better than a cat’s. The outer ear is relatively large and is covered by a skin fold with feathers.
Characteristics of behavior and lifestyle
Even nowadays, scientists do not know anything about whether owls can be considered migratory birds. Despite this, scientists know that these birds prefer to lead a sedentary life. Also, if owls settle, they do so only in pairs. As a rule, these predators are most active at night, and in the afternoon they rest either in their nests or comfortably resting on a branch of a tree.
Our ancestors shy away from these birds, as the meeting with them was considered a bad signal. On this soil, giving mysticism, not very good relations between man and owls were formed: they tried to expel them in every possible way if they settled near a man.
Unlike ordinary owls, polar owls lead an active life almost around the clock, especially on polar days. These birds have been living in pairs all their lives since their family was formed. At the same time, many believe that these birds do not have a period of explicit courting, which is characteristic of other species of birds. But most likely, it is not so, because these birds lead a secretive lifestyle. Even the fact that experts do not know whether these birds are migratory or not, says a lot about it.
How many do owls live?
In natural conditions, owls can live from five to fifteen years. The longevity of these birds depends on many factors, including the environment. Owls are considered real longevity. An owl living in Sweden has lived for 24 years and 9 months, which was recorded as a world record.