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Facts About Owl

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Last updated date: 24th Jul 2024
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What are Owls?

Owls are mysterious birds of prey. These unusual birds have captured the imagination for centuries. More than 200 species of owls are found all around the world. They make their home on every continent except Antarctica.

Facts about Owls

Here are some interesting facts about owls.

  • Owls are very good hunters. They are birds of prey that hunt exclusively in darkness.

  • The smallest owl in the world is only 5 - 6 inches tall. It is the Elf Owl.

This image shows Elf owl, the smallest owl in the world.

Elf Owl, the Smallest Owl in the World.

  • Blakiston's Fish Owl is the biggest in the world.

This image shows Blakiston's Fish owl.

Blakiston's Fish owl.

  • Not all owls hoot.

  • A group of owls is called a 'parliament'.

This image shows a group of owls.

A Parliament of Owls.

  • Baby owls are called owlets.

  • Owls are carnivorous.

  • Owls have tube eyes.

This image shows the tube eyes of owls

Owls - Tube Eyes.

  • Owls have asymmetrical ears.

  • Tytonidae and Strigidae are two families of owls. Tytonidae or barn owls have distinct heart-shaped faces. Strigidae is also called true owls.

This image shows true owls

Strigidae or True Owls.

This image shows Tytonidae or barn owls.

Tytonidae or Barn Owls.

Characteristics of Owls

  • Owls have powerful claws that are called "talons" and use them to catch and kill their prey.

This image shows that  Owls have talons to catch their prey.

Owls Have Talons to Catch Their Prey.

  • Owls have long and flexible necks. They can turn their heads 270 degrees, almost a full circle.

 Owls have flexible necks that turn almost a full circle.

Owls- Flexible Necks

  • Owls have soft plumage.

  • Most owls have piercing yellow eyes.

  • Owls are also known for their unique hoot.

  • Owls cannot move their eyes. If something is not straight in front of them, they have to turn their head to look at it.

  • They have hooked beaks.

Special Features About Owls

Although all species are different, owls have some common features.

  • Owls have a telescopic vision. They are 'far-sighted', meaning they cannot see the objects close to their eyes clearly but can see details at far distances.

  • Most birds flap noisily when they fly. Owls have soft plumage. Their feathers have special edges and velvety soft covering that absorb sound. It gives an owl the greatest advantage as a hunter: silent flight.

This image shows the owls have soft feathers

Owls- Soft Feathers

  • Many birds chirp and claw but owls hoot.

  • Owls have asymmetrical ears. It means that their ears are at different heights and different angles. This feature gives them the ability to pinpoint where their prey is.

  • They are nocturnal birds meaning that they are " active during the night".


Owls are nocturnal birds of prey with sharp talons, soft plumage and hooked beaks. They can swivel their heads in almost any direction. Owls are good parents. They stay with their babies and bring them food to eat.

Learning by Doing

Choose the correct answer

  1. Most owls are nocturnal birds.

  1. True

  2. False

  1. Which of the following features do owls have?

  1. Hooked owls

  2. Soft plumage

  3. Sharp talons

  4. All of the above.

  1. Which feature of the owls give them the greatest advantage as hunters?

  1. Soft plumage

  2. Asymmetrical ears

  3. Telescopic vision

  4. None of the above.

Solved Questions

  1. Which is the smallest owl in the world?

Ans: Elf owl.

  1. What is a group of owls called?

Ans:  A parliament.

  1. Name the two families of owls.

Ans: The two families of owls are:

  • Tytonidae which are also called barn owls.

  • Strigidae which are also called true owls.