All About Owls for Kids: Backyard Bird Series – FreeSchool

All About Owls for Kids: Backyard Bird Series – FreeSchool

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You’re watching FreeSchool! Owls: mysterious nocturnal hunters, these
unusual birds have captured our imaginations for centuries. However, even though they hunt almost exclusively
in darkness, owls are nothing to be afraid of. There are more than 200 species of owls around
the world, and these versatile birds of prey make their homes on every continent except
Antarctica. Although there are differences between species,
owls share some key features. Owls have sharp talons, hooked bills, and
heads that can swivel around in almost any direction. Something interesting about owls is that they
cannot move their eyes. If owls want to look at something that is not straight ahead of
them, they have to turn their whole head. Owls also have soft plumage. It is these soft
feathers that give owls their greatest advantage as a hunter: silent flight. Most birds flap
noisily when they fly. Owls’ feathers have special edges and a velvety soft covering
that absorb sound and let owls fly so quietly that their prey never hears them coming. Owls typically swallow their prey whole and
then regurgitate a pellet of anything too tough to be digested, like fur, bones, and
claws. Dissecting these pellets is a good way to find out what the owl has been eating. Owls are good parents, too. They stay with
their nestlings and bring them food to eat – meat, of course. The parents will rip the
meat up into small enough pieces that their babies can eat it. The parents will care for
the young until they are fully feathered and ready to fly off on their own – a process
which takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the species of owl. Finally, you are probably familiar with one
kind of owl call: the hoot. But owls make an interesting variety of noises! I hope you enjoyed learning about owls today. Good
luck seeing one – or hearing one – in your neighborhood.

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