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Owls have been fascinating us for many thousands of years. This wise and incredibly beautiful bird has been a hero of old legends, myths, fairy tales, epics and mystical stories. Different peoples call the owl a “symbol of wisdom”, a guardian of the other world, and a defender of the dead. Owls are amazing creatures — when most living beings fall asleep at night, they just begin their life and hunt. These goggle-eyed birds are not only the subject of the affection of millions, but also the elusive predators that people rarely see face to face. Let us have a small journey into their world and learn some more facts about their life and the most beautiful and fascinating owl breeds.

Stygian owl — the lover of pet snakes

You might not believe it when you learn why Stygian owls, the creature with huge round yellow eyes catches snakes. You may guess the animal eats them? No, it does not do it. The owl takes snakes into the nest to keep them there as…pets! Snakes catch insects and protect the bird from them. Additionally these owls catch mice. Bringing them to the nest, they leave bodies of them inside. The smell attracts insects, and the owl’s “pets” (snakes) get their dinner! Stygian owls can be met mostly in Alaska, Canada, western part of the USA and Central Mexico.

Stygian owl photo


Barn owl — the bird living everywhere

Barn owls live really everywhere, however the birds hate Antarctic climate and, naturally, they are not met at this ice continent. The spots on its body and head serve the animal as the stuff that scares insects and attracts male owls.

Barn owl photo

Burrowing Owl — bird living under the ground

It might sound odd, but Burrowing Owl is the bird that never lives in her nests or in the trees like other owls and flying creatures. Like small rodents, this bizarre animal lives…under the ground, in holes! They do hunt during the daytime and can sleep at night. Most of these birds are found in both Americas.

Burrowing Owl photo

Flammulated owl —true night hunter

Flammulated owls have very big round black eyes and unique color of their feathers — almost red. They catch spiders and night insects. Living in Canada and North America in winter, in summer they migrate to Mexico, where the climate it hotter.

Flammulated owl photo

Great horned owl — the biggest owl in both Americas

Like the other predators Great horned owl eats whatever it catches together with fur and bones. It is the largest one from American owls, who sometimes even catches skunks.

Great horned owl photo

Long-eared owl — living in the nests on other birds

This creature is well-known for its long “ears”. Living in Europe, Asia, North America, in China and in Mexico, it simply “steals” the nests of the other birds. Arranging “raider captures” for them, the creature expels the others from their homes and settles in their dwellings.

Great horned owl photo

Eurasian Pygmy Owl — tiny hunter

This creature is probably the smallest owl. Living on the territory of both Americas, it hunts during the daytime. The reason of her choice is a very bad night vision and horrible hearing.

Eurasian Pygmy Owl photo

Eastern screech owl — the birds that giggles and screams

When being somewhere in the North-East of Mexico or in the USA near Rocky Mountains you hear that somebody is screaming in the air, you can guess it can be this Eastern screech owl.

Eastern screech owl photo

Band-bellied Owl — black owl with odd “glasses”

This bird looks very attractive. Living in Mexico, Central and South Americas, it is always recognized for its black feathers and white “muzzles” with huge round yellow eyes. Meanwhile, these baby owls are white with black muzzles.

Band-bellied Owl photo

Snowy owl — white polar beauty

This beautiful, almost white bird do really loves cold climate and lives in the North of Europe, in Greenland and on the northern islands of the USA. The she-owl is very big — the bird’s weight can reach 3 kg and even more. Its bright yellow eyes see well in the dark, and the creature loves hunting at night and very early in the morning. Catching hares, darks, hedgehogs and mice, the animal have also many enemies, for instance, foxes. Preferring eating raw meat, it can also hunt for dead rodents when it understands no “fresh” food is left.

Snowy owl photo

Madagascar long-eared owl — cute predator

Living in tropical forests, Madagascar long-eared owl just might seem very cute. In reality it is dangerous predator, hunting for rodents. The bird has an average round-shaped body and long “ears”. Most of these animals have “cinnamon” and brown color of their feathers, but baby-owls are white. These creatures can “bark” — at least they produce the sounds really resembling barking. It is a rare bird that has enemies mostly among the other, bigger animals-predators (foxes, for instance).

If it ever happens that you meet an owl, you will never confuse it with another bird — these birds are really unique. All of them (and the breeds we described) have big eyes and ears, powerful beak, flat face, claws, fluffy “fur”, and of course feathers around the eyes. In addition, all owls produce very odd sounds — each of the breed has its “own” voice.

Madagascar long-eared owl photo

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