True owls, typical owls strigidae

Owl MouthOwls are solitary, mainly nocturnal birds of prey.  The typical owls are placed into the the bird family Strigidae.  The Barn Owls are separated into the Tytonidae family.

Distribution / Range

They are found on all regions of the Earth except Antarctica, most of Greenland, and some remote islands.


The smallest owls include the pygmy owls, some of which are only 5.1 inches (13 cm), have a 12.6-inch (32 cm) wingspan and weigh only 1.76 oz (50 g).

The largest owls are the eagle owls, the Eurasian Eagle Owl Bubo bubo and Verreaux's Eagle Owl B. lacteus, which may reach 30 inches (76.2 cm) long, have a wingspan of just over 6.6 ft (2 m), and weigh about 9 lb (4 kg).

Owls have a hawk-like beak, and usually a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disc.

The facial disc helps to funnel the sound of prey to their ears. Additionally, the right ear is typically set higher in the skull and at a slightly different angle, and by tilting or turning the head until the sound is the same in each ear, an owl can pinpoint both the direction and the distance to the source of a sound.

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