Owls have many adaptations that allow them to survive in their chosen habitats. As nocturnal hunters, they are particularly well-adjusted to darkness and quiet environments so that they can find and capture prey. These adaptations are mainly physical, but there are also behavioral factors.
One crucial adaptation of the owl that allows it to be a very successful hunter is its ability to fly silently. The shape of an owl's wing feathers is slightly fringed, which muffles the sound of air passing around the wings. This allows owls to sneak up quietly on their prey. Owls are also well-insulated by their feathers, allowing them to sit and wait for prey without moving for long periods of time.
The owl also is equipped with excellent hearing. This is crucial, because the owl is a nocturnal hunter. Being able to hear very well gives owls an advantage at night and in very dark conditions. Owls' eyesight is excellent as well, as they have a large number of special cells called rods that are extremely sensitive to low light. This helps them see their prey from a distance in minimal light conditions.
The owl's neck is extremely flexible; it has the ability to turn its neck nearly all the way around. This unique adaptation allows owls to locate sounds accurately from a great distance, which, added to its excellent eyesight and acute hearing, gives the owl the upper hand on even its sneakiest prey.Learn More
Owls do hibernate during the winter season. The exception is the snowy owl, which migrates to warmer areas when winter comes around.Full Answer >
Cultures throughout history have viewed owl sightings differently, with some believing that they are reminders to rely on personal wisdom and others that they are harbingers of death, sickness or general misfortune. The Greeks believed that owl sightings were a sign of good fortune. Ancient Greeks portrayed the goddess Athena, who was known for her wisdom, as being accompanied by an owl much of the time.Full Answer >
Snowy owls eat mammals, such as rabbits and rodents, and other birds. The snowy owl swallows its prey whole when it eats and hunts during the day.Full Answer >
Owls are carnivores; they are not omnivores. Owls mostly feed on small mammals such as rabbits and rodents as well as birds and insects. Some owl species focus on fish. The snowy owl loves lemmings and may consume more than 1,600 per year, or three to five daily.Full Answer >