New Mexico

Fun Facts about Owls

Owl Fun Facts

  • There are 19 species of owls that live in North America, more than 150 species around the world.
  • Owls mate for life.
  • Owls are found on all continents except Antarctica.
  • Female owls are larger and heavier than the males of their species.
  • Owls can twist their heads almost three-quarters of the way around without moving their bodies.
  • Owls have three eyelids. The upper lid closes when an owl blinks and the lower closes when an owl sleeps. The third, a thin layer of tissue, moves diagonally across the eye from the inside to the outside, cleaning the eye.
  • Some owls have one ear higher than the other, giving them excellent hearing that allows them to pinpoint the location of their prey.
  • Most owls are nocturnal, except for a few species such as the Snowy Owl which hunts during daylight hours. Most owls hunt at night so they do not cast shadows that could alert rodents and other prey as they descend from the sky.
  • Owls’ feathers are designed to muffle the sound of their flying, making them excellent hunters capable of sneaking up on their prey. Because owls are almost silent while in flight, it also allows them to hear and locate their prey.
  • Owls are raptors, meaning they hunt other living things for their food. They are extraordinarily helpful to humans, helping control the rodent population.
  • Some owls are known to hunt and eat animals as large as cats. 


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