Every morning I drive my daughter to school and we see what looks like a small owl coming out of a hole in the ground. Every morning we see the two owls and I say “It can’t be an owl the sun is out.” I have always known that owls sleep during the day and live in trees. My daughter keeps telling me it is an owl, but I keep telling her it can’t be….they look like an owl or bird, but come out of the ground like a gopher. I finally figured it out and, yes I will say it…..My Daughter Was Right!
It is an Owl….A Burrowing Owl
I didn’t know that some owls don’t sleep during the day like I had always thought. The burrowing owl are smaller with long legs and are found throughout open landscapes of North and South America. They like dry open areas such as agricultural areas and deserts with low vegetation. They roost in burrows like a prairie dog. Unlike most owls, burrowing owls are active during the day although they tend to avoid the mid-day heat. Most hunting is still done from dusk until dawn and like most owls they use their night vision and hearing to their advantage.
Since my 15 year old daughter knows more than me about owls, I was thinking that I would find some facts she might not know:
- An owl has three eyelids. One for blinking, one for sleeping and one for keeping the eye clean and healthy.
- Owls eyes are supported by bony eye sockets and they cannot turn their eyes. Instead owls rotate their heads up to 270 degrees.
- The Barn Owl can eat up to 1,000 mice each year.
- Not all owls hoot….owls make a wide range of sounds such as screeches, whistles, barks and hissing.
- During the nesting season, owl calls can be heard up to a mile away.
- A group of owls is called a parliament
- Baby owls are called owlets.
- Female owls are usually larger and heavier than the males of their species.
- Owls eyes are a little different from other animals.
- The owls ears are crooked…one is further forward and one higher than the other. When the owl hears a sound they know what direction it is in by which ear hears it first.
- Owls have velvety thick and soft feathers that absorb sound. The silent flight makes it easy for the owl to sneak up on its pray and allows the owl to keep hearing the prey in the dark.
- The tiniest owl is an Elf Owl. Elf Owls are usually 5-6 inches tall and weighs about 1 1/2 ounces.
I hope I was able to teach my daughter, and maybe some of you, something previously unknown about Owls.