Fun Owl Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 17, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary
Owls facts that you need to know now

Owls are nocturnal birds that lead a very happening nightlife. This bird becomes the most active at night, and its far-sighted eyes and long-range ears help it to see through the dark and listen to the slightest of sounds.

Did you know that owls can turn their heads and see behind their back? Yes, an owl's neck is so flexible that it can twist it up to 270 degrees to its sides. It can also see 90 degrees up and down twisting its super-flexible neck.

An owl is considered to be a very wise and intelligent bird. So it is also known as 'the wise owl'.

In countries like India, it is believed that seeing an owl brings good luck and fortune to the viewer. There are over 200 species of owls all over the world.

Fun facts about snowy owls are that it is absolutely white in color and their feathers are thicker than other species of owls, insulating them from temperature extremities. Another commonly found owls are the barn owls, which can be easily spotted flying around or sitting on trees or building-tops at night.

The vocal sound of an owl is known as hooting, which sounds like 'hooh-hoo-hooo'. Many people find this sound to be eerie and ominous, but these cute birds do not usually harm humans.

Enjoyed reading till here? Keep on reading below to know about exciting and interesting owl facts below. Read about the detailed facts on barn owl and tawny owl once you're done with this.

Owl Interesting Facts

What type of animal are Owls?

Owls are nocturnal birds with large and rounded wings, round and droopy eyes, and a sharp beak.

What class of animal do Owls belong to?

Owls are birds that belong to the class of Aves.

How many Owls are there in the world?

There are an uncountable number of owls in the world. However, there are over 200 species of owls. As per the IUCN, there are over 100 million barn owls in the world.

Where do Owls live?

One can find an owl hooting from the trees. Owls generally live in the woods, forests, grasslands, and savanna regions. They do not have a fixed habitat and are found both in the wild and in urban areas.

Snowy owls in North America are quite a popular owl species. Grasslands, meadows, tree-lined urban and sub-urban areas are an owl's favorite living zones. Their home range usually ranges between 7-8 km, within which they keep on shifting to newer places from time to time.

What is an Owl's habitat?

Owls make up an endothermic species. This means fluctuations of the external environment do not influence their survival conditions. A variety of owl species can be found in a wide range of habitats. Ranging from the deserts, forests, shrublands, wetlands, owls are found everywhere. They can be found in all kinds of eco-regions: temperate, tropical, savanna regions habitats.

Who do Owls live with?

An owl generally prefers to live on its own and is solitary by nature. Before mating both the male and the female fly around looking for their perfect match, with males giving in the most effort. Occasionally, many owls of the same species flock together, and the entire owl gang is called a parliament.

How long do Owls live?

All owl species combined have an average lifespan ranging between 12-20 years. Younger owls may survive only till the first breeding season. The mortality rate of owls is much higher in their younger state and during the first breeding season. Thereafter, their immunity and longevity increase appreciably.

Another important fact regarding the longevity of owls is the ones kept captive for conservation live longer than the owls living in the wild. As per records, a captive barn owl had lived up to 25 years of age.

How do they reproduce?

All owls like the common barn owl prefer higher temperatures during their breeding season. In temperate countries like North America, spring is the ideal breeding season.

Owls breed when they have plenty of food to eat and to feed their baby owls. Finding a mating partner starts with displays of flights and chasing by the males.

The females after being wooed, fly along with the males. This flight together is called a moth flight.

After this mating begins where an owl makes shrill noises and might then be called a screech owl. These birds usually give six to twelve eggs per breeding season.

Most owls usually nest their eggs on other's nests and it takes up to 29-34 days for the eggs to hatch. Baby owls are cared for by the mother owls for up to 25 days, thereafter they become independent and can hunt for food on their own.

What is their conservation status?

Owls are not yet a species that is facing a survival crisis in the wild or around man. At present, owls are not globally threatened and most species are listed as  of Least Concern.

Some other species like the Snowy owl is classified as Vulnerable and the Flores Scops-owl is classified as Endangered. Concerns regarding climate change and the extension of winter months are causing problems of breeding for most owl species like the barn owl, who require warmer temperatures.

Owls in tropical and sub-tropical countries face no threat at all. However, owl species of temperate regions are getting longer winter seasons, affecting their reproductive ability.

Owl Fun Facts

What do Owls look like?

Owls are cute yet creepy-looking birds with uniquely shaped eyes, a sharp and rounded beak, and feathers all over the body. Their wings make them look long and their eyes make up for 1-5% of their body weight.

Different owl species are of different colors and sizes. While most are mottled brown in color, many birds like snow owls are totally white in color.

Male owls have a lighter body color are shorter in height than female owls.

They are birds of prey and hence have sharp claws called talons on their feet, which help them to catch their prey easily. An interesting fact about this bird is that they have asymmetrical ears, which serve as an effective tool to hunt their prey or be safe from predators.

Owls can turn their head up to 270 degrees.

How cute are they?

Quantitatively, an owl can be given an eight out of 10 in terms of its cuteness. Some cute and funny facts about owls are that they are often used as a pest control animal in agricultural fields as they eat up most rodents and other disruptive creatures.

Also, the eyes of the owls make up their cutest and most striking feature. They can turn their heads even behind their back.

How do they communicate?

Owls are very expressive creatures. They make different sounds in different situations to communicate. An owl is a nocturnal bird and hence becomes most active at night.

Owls hoot at night to shoo off their predators or other owls from their territories, to attract mating partners, and more. While mating, owls screech and whistle to attract their partners. This bird can also make a noise like a snake hissing while it is out for a hunt or when ready to eat its prey.

How big are Owls?

The average size of an owl ranges between 10-72 in (25-182 cm). An owl is five times the size of a hummingbird and is three times smaller than an eagle. The smallest owl is the elf owl and the largest owl is the North American owl.

How fast can Owls fly?

Owls like the great horned owls can fly as fast as 40 mph (6 kph ).

How much do Owls weigh?

On average, owls weigh between 15.2-21.9 oz (430-620 g). However, the smallest elf owls are the lightest and weigh only 1.05 oz (30 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no separate names assigned.

What would you call a baby Owl?

A newborn owl is called an owlet.

What do they eat?

Owls are carnivorous birds and prey on smaller animals. They fly around searching for their prey, spot them with their sharp eyes, hunt them to eat, and store the rest. They mostly feed on rodents, insects, snakes, rabbits, and the like. Large owls like the Great horned owl also prey on smaller owl species to eat.

Are they dangerous?

Owls are not dangerous to human beings. Since they are birds of prey, they are dangerous predators for smaller animals.

With their sharp beaks, wide wings full of feathers, and razor-sharp claws or talons, they are great hunters of the night. Some rare cases of owls attacking humans have been reported in some places. Big owls can scratch or injure people with their sharp beak and claws, but cannot kill humans.

Would they make a good pet?

It is always best to let the wild birds wander freely in the wild. Movies like Harry Potter have popularised the petting of owls in some countries.

However, owls need extra care and a free home environment, which most humans cannot provide. They stay up all night, hooting loudly, and prefer going out for night flights. Capturing them at home isn't a great idea.

Many people pet owls as they prey on house insects and act as great pest control at homes and on private farms. Supplying their food and caring for their body filled with feathers is not what every person can do.

Did you know...

The eyes of an owl do not have eyeballs and can only look straight. To look around it has to turn its entire neck.

Based on their facial structure, owls are broadly divided into two families: Tytodinae (heart-faced) and Strigidae (round-faced).

Some owls are diurnal and hunt for prey during the day.

Owls, using different eyelids, can sleep and blink.

Different types of Owls

There are a variety of owl species found in the world. Great horned owls are owls with ears placed in such a way that they look like horns.

Barn owls are very common with a rounded a heart-shaped face. Some interesting barred owls facts are that their ears are not visible because of their large eyes. They are brown in color from the top and are gray underneath.

Burrowing owls have the longest feet and it's fun to spot them walking. The Screech owl and Elf owl are the smallest owl species with sizes up to 10 in (25.4 cm) only.

Symbolism of Owls

Ancient Greece popularised owls as a bird of wisdom. However, the Mayans believed them to be ominous bringing grief or death. In Japan, owls are regarded as the 'Emperor of the night', protecting the people from danger. Snowy white owls are considered to be sacred in India.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including yellow billed cuckoo, or pileated woodpecker.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our owl coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary

Bachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

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Smriti ChaudharyBachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

Smriti, a student data scientist, and coder, is pursuing her Bachelor of Technology at K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering. She has achieved top rankings in the International English Olympiad, National Spelling Bee, and PSAT/SAT English Section. She is experienced in content creation and editing for various academic institutions.

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