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Owls come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are small but others are quite large. Many are carefully camouflaged to match their surroundings. Owls are known for their mystique and beauty and many are protected due to the limited numbers that are left on the planet. For those who have grown to love these creatures, there is nothing better than learning more about them and their special features.
Although there are over 200 species of owls in existence today, some species are more popular than others and a great deal of information is known about them. One item that differentiates the species is their lifestyle which includes what they eat and where they live. Owls can be found in many places all around the globe and learning more about their lifestyle is a fantastic way to begin understanding how that we can protect them better. Below are some of the more popular species and information about their lifestyles.
Barn owls prefer to make their home in grasslands and can be commonly found in Australia. However, they can also be found on every other continent as well besides Antarctica. They are nocturnal, meaning they hunt during the night and tend to prey on small animals such as mice, rats and frogs. At times they even prey on small flying animals such as bats. These owls typically only live one or two years at the most.
Also nocturnal owls, Barred Owls spend their nights hunting animals of all shapes and sizes. These birds are known to be opportunistic hunters and tend to consume any animal that they can dig their talons into. Anything from mice and rats to squirrels to frogs and snakes have made their way onto this owl’s dinner plate. They tend to make their home in the abandoned nests of hawks, squirrels and crows and can typically be found in North America. They love moist, deep forests as well as wooded swamps and woodlands.
Although owls are typically known to hunt at night, the burrowing owl does its hunting during the daytime. They can be found in the Western United States as well as in Mexico, Central America and South America. Their favorite cuisine is small mammals and insects and they have a very distinct hunting pattern. While watching for their prey, they stand on top a post or a mound of dirt on one leg. They make their underground homes out of burrows that have been left behind by other mammals and can be found in dry grasslands and desert regions.
The Eagle Owl is known as a Eurasia owl and can be found in North Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The hunt during the day and tend to dine on large mammals such as rabbits and small deer. At times, a small owl may even fall prey to the eagle owl. These owls make their home in forests and deserts, but prefer to make their home in rock or cliff-like areas. Sometimes their homes may be confiscated from other smaller owls.
This owl makes its home in cavities that have been created by woodpeckers. They are usually found in the Southwest United States and Mexico and well as Baja California. The elf owl has many preferable residences and can be found in areas such as the following: cacti, woodlands, tablelands, woody areas, canyons and deserts.
Great Gray Owl
The great gray owl makes its home in stick nests that have been left behind by hawks and other birds. They have been known to consume a variety of animals including mice and squirrels. They can be found in the Sierra Nevada and usually do their hunting in the late morning or early afternoon. Their usual lifespan is around 40 years, but with threats to their lifestyle, mainly due to the works of humans, this number has decreased over the years.
Great Horned Owl
The Great Horned Owl makes its home in the Americas and commonly frequents dense forests, deserts and Central and South America. Some migrate south during the winter and can even be found in Canada, where it feasts on the snowshoe hare, which weighs in at a whopping 3 pounds. Other animals that the Great Horned Owl preys on can include mice, rabbits, skunks and even house cats and they begin the hunt for their prey around dusk.
Owls are fantastic creatures and the more that we learn about them, the easier it will be to protect them. For those who already love these animals, adding to their knowledge is just one way to show their support for the many special species of owls and a great way to get to know these beautiful creatures a bit further.