Getting to Know Owls at VINS
- There are around 200 different owl species.
- A group of owls is called a parliament.
- Most owls hunt insects, small mammals, and other birds.
- Some owl species hunt fish.
- Owls have powerful talons, which help them catch and kill prey.
- Owls can turn their heads as much as 270 degrees.
- Owls are farsighted, meaning they can’t see things close to their eyes clearly.
- Owls are very quiet in flight compared to other birds of prey.
- The color of owl’s feathers helps them blend into their environment (camouflage).
- Barn owls can be recognized by their heart-shaped face.
- The eyes of an owl are not true “eyeballs.” Their tube-shaped eyes are completely immobile, providing binocular vision which fully focuses on their prey and boosts depth perception.
- The tiniest owl in the world is the Elf Owl, which is 5 - 6 inches tall and weighs about 1 ½ ounces. The largest North American owl is the Great Gray Owl, which is up to 32 inches tall.
- Barn Owls swallow their prey whole—skin, bones, and all—and they eat up to 1,000 mice each year.
- Not all owls hoot. Barn Owls make hissing sounds, and the Eastern Screech-Owl whinnies like a horse.