At night, large and small birds have a rest, but at this time, night raptors – owls – fly out.
They fly over the ground slowly, almost not making a single sound. No mouse can hide from this angry predator. The victim will always find a powerful paw with long claws.
Owls look for victims from trees, and they are completely stationary, only turning their head 180 degrees, and sometimes an owl can turn its head all 270 degrees. When an owl notices a victim, it flies for several meters and then falls vertically down. An owl never misses. With captured prey, it goes to a secluded place where the prey is eaten completely – along with bones and wool. The lumps of wool and skin of the owl then burp from the stomach.
The diet consists of small and medium mammals, insects, and other birds. Most often, owls eat forest and field mice, shrew, mole, butterflies, and frogs. The largest representative of owls is the owl, it hunts hares, and sometimes attacks young mountain goats and roes. There are also fish owls, which eat fish and crustaceans, respectively.
On moonlit nights, when it is quite light, these predators hunt until sunrise. Owls have excellent eyesight and good hearing. Owls’ eyes are similar to cats’ – they are also convex and large. Just like the cat’s eyes, they can catch the weakest light, so they can see perfectly in the dark. Fairy tales often show that owls’ eyes shine in the dark, but in reality, it is not, and it is also not true that owls do not see the bottom at all.
Owls hunt mice, fish, and even small hoofed animals.
Most owls are active at night, but owls living in the Arctic and Subarctic, hunt in the daytime because in summer there is no darkness at all. Owls sleep all day long, hiding in a tree. Owls help hide from predators by their camouflage color, usually brownish or grayish. Males and females have the same color plumage. Day birds, when they meet owls in the daytime, attack them and try to paste.
Owls inhabit almost everywhere from the equator to the tundra, but they avoid the Arctic and certain oceanic islands. They may live in forests, mountains, deserts, and tundras.
There are about 200 species of owls. They can be of different sizes and weigh from 60 grams to 3 kilos. Elf owl – a tiny representative of owls, whose body length does not exceed 14 centimeters. It inhabits the elf owl in Mexico and the south of the United States, it leads to a sedentary lifestyle. The distribution of this species depends directly on saguaro cactuses. In these cactuses, woodpeckers make hollows and nest in them, and sometimes they can live even with woodpeckers.
In the southern part of New Zealand, in the mountainous area, there is a laughing owl, which grows to a length of 35 centimeters. This bird is considered one of the rarest representatives of New Zealand fauna. This is because European colonists brought rats and cats to the island, which led to the almost complete disappearance of birds of prey.
Owls are very important and useful birds. In seasons when too many mice breed, owls feed exclusively on these rodents, and other animals are completely ignored. But if with mice, it is awful, then owls are not easy, in such periods, they can even attack the weak and sick congeners. By eating rodents, owls benefit agriculture. But some large species of owls, such as the bearded gray owl and long-tailed owl, are harmful to the hunting economy because their victims are hares, grouse, squirrels, and other species of animals that humans hunt. In many countries, these birds of prey are protected by law.