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There are more than 100 different species of owls in the world. Owls efficiently adapted to their environment therefore, they all look different and have different colours.



Owls live on every continent except for Antarctica. Some owls like cold and snowy places, and others prefer hot places. They live in dry deserts, rain-soaked jungles, thick forests, and open plains.




Owls can capture a variety of prey: rabbits, rodents, birds, fish and some even can even take young deer. Owls usually swallow their prey whole regardless of teeth, bones, and fur. Sometimes it uses its sharp beak to break it into pieces if the prey is too large. The parts that cannot be digested (teeth, bones, and fur) are packed into pellets while still in the stomach and are spit out. To hunt, an owl will silently watch and listen for prey from a high perch. When it sees or hears an animal below, the owl swoops and flies close to the ground. As it comes closer to the prey, it stops beating its wings and glides in silently for the attack. It captures the prey in strong, sharp talons, and usually carries it back to its perch in its bill.




raising of Chicks:

The father owl often helps the mother raise the young. He may even take a turn sitting on the eggs. Chicks usually hatch two days apart. The oldest chick becomes the strongest, because it gets most of the food. The mother owl will ensure the young chicks receive almost constant care for three months. She will teach them to fly and hunt. And while the chicks will leave the nest after three months, they will be six months old before they look like adults.

special features:

Owls fly silently through the dark night without hitting trees or losing their prey. They have good eyes to see through the night. Unlike most birds, owls have eyes positioned on the front of their heads for better range. The eyes are so big they cannot move; their size helps to catch all of the available light. An owl's hearing is fine-tuned by special skin flaps, soft ear feathers, and facial discs that all work to guide sound. This hearing is so acute that an owl can hear a mouse step on a twig 75 feet away.





(taken from: http://www.zoobooks.com/animalsatoz_detail.aspx?q=16)





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