Birds are among the favorite creatures of many people. Many species of these creatures, which are mainly associated with freedom and peace, coexist with humans in urban life. But things get a little messy when it comes to owls. Some people find owls extremely cute. These creatures, which some find quite terrifying, evoke darkness and danger. However, regardless of the opinion about owls, these creatures, which have spread almost all over the world with more than 200 species, are some of the most interesting species on the planet. Here are 12 surprising facts about owls you probably haven’t heard of before.

1. Owls cannot turn their heads 360 degrees

Many people believe that owls can turn their heads 360 degrees. However, this is not true. Owls can turn their heads 135 degrees in any direction. So in total they only have a 270-degree view! Of course, they owe this unusual feature to their unusual physique.

2. The eyes of owls are not round as we know them.

It is well known that owls have exceptionally excellent eyesight. They can easily see great distances even in total darkness, so they can hunt with ease.

The eyes of owls are very different from the eyes we know. Owls have no pupils. Instead, they have eye tubes. Their eyes are connected to these tubes that extend behind their eyes. This means that owls cannot move their eyes on their own. That’s why they have to turn their heads where they want to see.

3. They have developed hearing

Many people are aware of the excellent eyesight of owls. However, they are also not well known for their excellent hearing. They can even hear little crackling noises under the ground or in the snow!

Some owls have structures in their ears that can detect changes in sound waves. In this way, they become almost unstoppable hunters. However, some species of owl can use the entire face as a hearing organ. These species have hair on both their faces and ears that allow them to distinguish between different sound waves.

4. They fly extremely quietly


While many bird species have their own remarkable characteristics, silent flying is a very rare trait in the bird world. Owls are experts in this field. Owls make almost no noise during flight. Thanks to their plumage, which breaks up the turbulence into small currents, thus reducing the sound, they can approach their prey almost invisibly.

5. They vomit parts of their prey they cannot digest

Despite their gentle appearance, owls are extremely wild creatures. Having caught the prey, they kill it by crushing it with their strong claws. Then, depending on the size of the prey, they swallow it in pieces or whole. However, they cannot digest parts of their prey, such as bones and fur. These parts are processed into a kind of soil and compacted in the digestive tract of the owls. They then vomit the remaining substance from their prey.

6. Other owls are the most popular food of some owl species!

The food range of some species of owls is extremely wide. There are even species of owls that like to prey on certain species of owls. In fact, the western screaming owl is in danger of extinction as it is hunted by other owls.

7. Owls in most cases only feed the strongest young in the nest


Sounds a bit brutal. However, especially when food is scarce, parent owls prefer to feed only their strongest young.

8. Camouflage experts


Many species of owl spend the day sleeping. Despite this, in the wild they can survive without predation. Because they have highly developed camouflage abilities.

9. Some owls build their nests underground


Many of us are used to seeing owls on the branches of trees. However, some species of owls build their nests underground. The “long-legged burrowing owl” living in North and South America attacks burrows dug by other subterranean animals or creates a new burrow for itself. This species of owl that spends its breeding season in these hollows gives birth to its young underground.

10. Many farmers use owls as pest repellents


Owls can eat over 3,000 insects in just a few months and can hunt over 50 kilograms of squirrels or mice in a year. For this reason, many couples have the trait of being best friends.

11. In ancient Greece, they were considered the harbingers of victory


Athene noctua, or the little owl as we call her, was the friend of Athena, the goddess of wisdom in Greek mythology. This is the most important reason why owls are associated with wisdom. However, Athena was also a warrior goddess. Athena’s friend, the owl, was considered the protector of armies going to war, and an owl seen in flight on the battlefield heralded impending victory.

12. In many cultures they are associated with death


However, in most cultures, they are seen as an integral part of concepts with negative connotations such as witchcraft and sorcery. So much so that there are even regions where owls are killed because of these superstitions that continue to this day.

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