Characteristics of owl species


Owls are birds that differ from the rest in their physiology and lifestyle. They are predominantly nocturnal, as they see well in the dark. Sharp claws allow them to track down and instantly kill their prey. What are the types of owls, and what are their distinctive features? That is what we now talk. Immediately it should be noted that there are about 220 species, but we consider the most interesting of them.

A little about the features of owls

Just a few words about the size of these birds. The smallest representative, for which he, in fact, got its name - the pygmy. The bird's weight is only 50-80 grams, and the length is no more than 20 centimeters. But the biggest owl is an eagle owl. Often there are individuals that reach impressive sizes. Length 60-75 centimeters, and weight up to 4 kilograms. However, regardless of size, all types of owls have a large head with lush plumage, which is why many may think that it is round. Thanks to the specific tail, a flat front disc is formed. Large and beautiful eyes - this is what attracts many of these predators. Their eyeballs are capable of capturing large streams of light with a small intensity, which allows them to see and track their victim perfectly at night.

The ears of owls are ordinary, with no outer shell. For example, the "long-eared owl" has bunches of additional sensitive feathers that improve the conduction of sounds directly to the ear. Due to the asymmetrical arrangement, the predator with high accuracy finds the source of the sound, which allows you to quickly navigate. It is worth paying attention to the fact that hearing for an owl is more important than sight, and is the main sense organ, because without it the bird simply cannot hunt. Paws of all species of owls are very strong with sharp claws, which allows you to instantly kill your prey.

Types of owls: a brief description

Let's look at several groups of predators that are the most expressive and interesting. We begin with gray owl. This is truly a gourmet owl who prefers to see only mice on her menu. But if it is very hard with prey, it can be slaughtered by young pigeons, which have not yet left their nest, or land birds. This species is found throughout Europe, but most often in Spain, Greece, etc. It used to be assumed that they also inhabit Siberia, but research did not produce results. The length of a large individual can reach half a meter, its wingspan is up to one meter.

The long-tailed tawny owl is an owl, which is considered the largest owl of all known to date. The length of an adult male is almost 70 centimeters, and the wingspan can be 120 cm. Unlike all other owl representatives, there is absolutely no difference between individuals of different sexes. Specifically, this species is often not limited to hunting for mice. They can also hunt hares, grouse or rabbits. There were even instances of the collision of a heron and a long-tailed owl, fortunately, both representatives survived.

The cave owl is common in America. It nests in the ground, often on plains, hills. Very often it nests in foreign burrows, for example, anteaters or armadillos. The most interesting thing is that such an owl with other mammals can live completely peacefully in the same hole. Confirmation of this was repeatedly sealed by witnesses.

Owl and Long-eared Owl

"King of the night" - this is the name of one of the largest representatives of the owl family. The length of the body of this giant sometimes reaches 78 centimeters, and the wingspan of one and a half meters. It is found in almost all countries of the Old World. Despite the wide habitat, the “king of the night” cannot be called ordinary, because it occurs less frequently. In the forests of Russia, the owl is very rare, it was even listed in the Red Book. It is noteworthy that this predator practically does not wander, it remains in the nest place from year to year. As for hunting, the eagle owl seeks its food only at night. Both small and large vertebrates can become its prey. Of course, mice adore all types of owls, as well as representatives of the feline, so the owl pays the most attention to them.

The eared owl is a mini version of an owl. This predator is different from the above in that it has a thin body and incredibly developed auricles. Extra feathers make this owl's hearing better. It is worth noting that this particular bird species is perceived by other species somewhat better. If the eagle owl and other winged inhabitants do not tolerate the spirit, the eared owl does not cause such indignation. She is not so aggressive, and more sociable. Sometimes you can see how eared owls gather for 20 or more individuals on a single tree. So they sit deep into the night, and then the whole pack go hunting.

White owl: a rare and extremely beautiful bird

Adults reach 71 centimeters in length, and the wingspan is more than one and a half meters. Color depends on age. The younger the individual, the more brown spots throughout the body. Closer to old age, a bird may become completely snow white. Unfortunately, such individuals are very rare, and many naturalists over the years track down polar long-livers. The white owl prefers loneliness, and does not consider a person to be his friend for good reasons. Because of this, the predator loves the remote area, where he spends most of his life. Most often found in the Tundra and is a magnificent spectacle, especially when it comes to a large "wise" representative, on which there are practically no brown spots. Cases of attacks on the game, which the hunter shot, are witnessed. But in most cases, this representative owls behaves very carefully and tries not to catch the eye of the person. Let's talk in detail about this predator.

Breeding polar owls

It is safe to say that the main reason for the high mortality of owls is hunger. Owls are very dependent on the rodent population. In a bad year, up to 30-60% of young individuals die. If there are quite a few small rodents, then the owl population increases significantly. Fortunately, this species is not so heavily dependent on it, here, rather, a large role is played by the person who preys on this bird. Owls breed once a year around mid-May. Mason hatching female for 30-34 days. Sometimes the number of eggs reaches 11 pieces, but on average a bird lays 4-6 eggs. The role of the male is in the extraction of food for the female, and then for the brood. Occasionally it happens that the female dies, and the clutch continues to incubate the male. By the way, despite the fact that the owl is a bird of prey and large individuals often die, for example, from hunters' shots or hunger, they choose a pair for themselves once for a lifetime. This applies not only to polar owls, but also to many other species of birds of this group.

Features of feathering and behavior

As noted above, the color of these owls varies with age. Juveniles are completely variegated, have brown spots all over their body, while the bird of middle age is colored with longitudinal spots on the head and transverse on the body. But the greatest interest for researchers are individuals of old age. If you can meet a very old owl, then it is quite possible that she will be completely white, without any stains. But since the owl is a bird of prey, it does not always live to an advanced age, therefore it causes unhealthy interest among poachers who are ready to shoot birds for their own benefit. No wonder these predators throughout their life trying to avoid people. But it so happens that the person came too close, in this case the polar owl pretends to be wounded or even dead. But if the threat does not pass, quickly rises and flies away. It is safe to say that the white owl is a bird, which, first of all, tries to keep its offspring at all costs, therefore it will always protect it. For this, the male guards the female, watching from the mountain, and at the slightest threat gives her a signal with a cry.

Remarkable features

Most researchers from around the world gradually come to the conclusion that the owl family is an independent detachment. This is indicated by anatomical features, many of which have nothing to do with daytime predators. However, it must be understood that different groups of owls sometimes have nothing in common with each other, except for anatomy. Some hunt at night, while others preferably during the day. For example, the owl has impressive dimensions, and the pygmy is the exact opposite of it. If hawk owls have similarities with hawks, and long-eared owls - with owls, then the same polar owls can be considered unique birds in some way, if only because ducks and other waterfowl often inhabit the nests of these predators. And they live peacefully next to each other. This is due to the fact that the owl never hunts in the immediate vicinity of its nest, unlike some other predators. Although during the hunger strike and this is possible. In any case, you need to at least see how the owl feeds. The photo, the bird on which hunts, there is a huge set, but all of them are obtained by hard work.


Over the years, scientists have conducted various studies, so today we have a lot of information about these predators. For example, in spite of the fact that the owl is a night bird, it does not see in complete darkness, just like a man. Therefore, if you place the predator in a dark room, where the rays of light do not fall, and run the rodent there, it will be eaten only when it makes some rustle or sound. But still the unnatural conditions for the search for food also affect, because these are birds of the forest. Owl is in many ways an ideal predator.

Sometimes even between kinsfolk conflicts occur. In this case, the night owl chooses the most varied methods of defense, tries to scare the barn owl, but hides from the owl or other large individuals, often masquerading in the branches of trees. It is also noteworthy that the owl hears well even when it flies. Most importantly, the victim will be killed with a probability of 99%, so it can be said that the owl is mistaken extremely rarely.

Well, perhaps, all that can be said about who the owl is. The description of a bird may differ depending on its species. But absolutely everyone is a deadly killer predator. Silent flight, excellent hearing and vision, as well as sharp claws make themselves felt. It is difficult to say whether owls are useful or harmful. Small individuals hunt only rodents that harm farm land, the larger ones can kill ducks and hares, as well as rabbits, which is detrimental to agriculture.

general characteristics

Owls can lead both sedentary and nomadic lifestyles, depending on the climatic conditions in their area of ​​residence. The color of feathers can be black, gray, white, reddish and other shades, which often serves as a disguise and depends on the type of bird.

Due to diseases, weather conditions, the effects of the owl's parasites can partially or completely lose their plumage. In this case, they are more like aliens exist than night birds that are common to humans.

On the round head of an owl is a predatory bent beak. The eyes are looking only forward, and to see what is happening aside, the birds can turn their head in a circle more than 250 degrees. At night, they perfectly see the prey and sources of danger, due to the peculiarities of vision.

The claws of the birds are long and sharp, as well as curved, which is a common feature with other predatory birds. Similarly, the manner of hunting: tracking, and then a rapid attack. In this matter, owls are close to hawks.

The hearing of these birds is several times better than that of human fluffy pets (cats). This contributes to the asymmetric arrangement of the ears, like an ordinary barn owl.

Wildlife researchers have figured out how an owl feeds:

  • big bugs
  • mice, voles,
  • small birds caught in the paws of this predator,
  • representatives of their own species, which is characteristic of the genus of owls

Lifestyles, reproduction and enemies

Owls are prone to monogamy. Nests equip themselves or occupy ready-made. The number of eggs in the clutch depends on the specific species of owl. The dwelling is carefully guarded against possible enemies. Both parents take care of feeding the hatched babies.

Grown-up chicks (about a month old), although they show independence, but take food from older individuals. Often they build nests or occupy tree hollows near their parents.

Owls have many enemies in their natural environment: other predators, including representatives of their own species, hunters, and natural elements. Birds are dying from lack of food. In such conditions, birds live to the age of ten. If a person takes care of an owl, then a life expectancy of up to 40 years is possible. Dwarf species live half less, in nature - up to 6 years, at home - up to 15-20.

All of these birds of prey belong to the order sovoobraznyh. Further classification implies division into two families: owl (real owls) and barn owls. The first group includes three subfamilies and three dozen genera: tawny owl, owl, long-eared owl, splyushki and others. There are more than 200 types of real owls. Let us consider in more detail the specific features of representatives of the order of owls.

"Snow Grandma" from the owl family

White or polar owl residents of the northern regions are called "lun", like other birds with light plumage, and the Yakuts - "snow grandmother." The color of the bird (light colors with small dark spots) serves as a kind of disguise.

Thus, in the tundra zone, it can freely hunt and fly from place to place. An owl is given a black beak and bright yellow eyes.

The white owl is common in Eurasia, North America, on islands in the Arctic Ocean. Also, these mostly migratory birds live in Greenland. They move to other areas (irregularly) where they can find more food or stay for the nesting period.

Representatives of this species of birds of prey feed mainly on rodents and lemmings. Also in their diet includes other prey: hares, ducks, fish. They hunt, attacking an approaching mouse or small bird from an elevation on the ground. The time for tracking down prey most often falls in the evening or early morning. White owl is listed in the Red Book.

"Twilight" bird from the forests of northwest America

Western little eared owl is called differently: Kennikotta (in honor of a naturalist from America), ghostly, twilight, or small horned. It lives in evergreen coniferous and deciduous forests of northwestern America, settling nests in hollows of trees. Leads mostly sedentary.

Owls look like owls. One of the peculiarities due to which the representatives of these predatory birds got the name is the presence of feather bunches resembling ears.

Unlike the eagle owls, eared owls can easily bend them down, hiding during a hunt or protection from natural enemies. The iris of the eyes of a bright orange color (sometimes with a reddish tint) was one of the reasons for the appearance of frightening folk legends.

The ocher plumage helps these birds when they need to be camouflaged. The victims (mostly rodents) do not notice them, taking owls for tree branches or snags. While hunting in open areas, predators alternate tracking their prey from a shelter with a search flight. Long-eared owl is known for its economic value, as it feeds on pests of crops.

Night bird of prey in glasses

The spectacled neotropical owl is a predominantly sedentary bird of prey that dwells in the thickets of tropical and subtropical forests. Active at night, hunts small rodents, birds, insects. Prey tracks down from cover. After waiting for a good time, rushes down on his victim.

You can find out the representatives of neotropic owls by the white color of feathers around the eyes. The young individuals have dark-colored “glasses”, and the plumage of the muzzle is white. A few years after the appearance of the light, the color of the pen of adolescents will become the same as in adults.

Neotropical owls live mainly in tree hollows. Eggs hatch only females, and the male during this period takes care of its sustenance. Chicks show independence at the age of five weeks, but adults still bring them food for about a month.

Virginia Owl Lifestyle

The virginian owl in the wild is found only in North and South America. His plumage is dominated by red, gray, black tones. Узнать представителя этого вида можно по «ушкам» или «рогам», которые образуют пучки перьев на голове.

Эти птицы комфортно себя чувствуют в лесах и болотах, на открытой местности и сельскохозяйственных угодьях. Отличаются агрессивным и непредсказуемым характером (особенно в период гнездования). Вред им может нанести другой хищник (ястреб, ворон), в том числе, и птица такой же видовой принадлежности.

Значение виргинского филина для хозяйственной деятельности человека неоднозначно. Они истребляют грызунов, что положительно сказывается на объемах урожаев в фермерских хозяйствах.

There are cases of hunting of owls for wild cats, which, in turn, prevented the attack of these predators on the cattle contained in stalls near the forests. At the same time, we should not forget that the four-legged friends of people and poultry can become the victims of the virginian.

Weather forecasts, legends, mystical assumptions based on the folklore of different countries are associated with the behavior of the eagle owls. For example, the Sicilians attach importance to the cry of this nocturnal predator, sounded near human habitation. If a person lives in the house who suffers from a serious illness, then the Virginian owl, thus, may foreshadow his imminent death.

The smallest feathered predators

The weight of the pygmy owl, which is the smallest of the owls, is only 55 g (sometimes it reaches 75-80 g), and the body length is about 19 cm. The females of this species are larger than the males.

The iris of the eye is yellow. White thick eyebrows create a characteristic expression of a muzzle, thanks to which the owl became not only a character of mystical legends and beliefs, but also a symbol of wisdom.

Having spotted prey, it flies quickly and swiftly, tacking between obstacles (tree branches, bushes). Grabs a rodent or even smaller bird than itself, and then returns to its nest. In the warm season, the owl makes stocks for the winter, as it will not be possible to hunt rodents because of the cold weather and snow cover.

The beginning of the mating season occurs in the early spring, when the male calls for females with special singing. Having found a mate, birds equip an already existing nest for laying eggs. Their incubation and care for the hatched chicks lies on the wolves, and the males bring them food. The father watches for the grown up chicks, at first helping them in search of prey and ensuring safety.

Features bearded owl

Tawny owl is a large bird with thick gray plumage. Leads mostly sedentary. You can find out that it is an owl of this kind that is in front of you by the presence of a dark spot under the beak, which resembles a beard, and white feathers on the neck. Feathers, the so-called "ears" or "horns" are absent.

Tawny owl is not only a genus of owls, but also the common name for nocturnal birds of prey, characteristic of folklore.

It inhabits taiga and mountainous forests. Rodents as well as small birds are included in the diet. It occupies nests left after buzzards or hawks. During the incubation of eggs and care for the offspring, the tawny behaves aggressively, attacking potential adversaries, including man.

Nocturnal predator with a sensitive ear

The barn owl (belongs to the barn owl family) is distributed throughout the globe except for the "ice" continent. In the Russian Federation, to see the bird of this species in natural conditions is possible in the Kaliningrad region. It is easy to learn this type of owl by the heart-shaped face of the disk.

The diet of the bird of prey consists of mice and other rodents, insects. Sometimes other small birds may be prey.

The barn owl has a very sensitive ear. This feature was made possible by the asymmetrical arrangement of the ears.

Conditions of keeping feathered predators at home

When choosing an owl as a pet, there are several factors to consider:

  • The choice of a certain type of these birds. So, for keeping in an apartment, an eared owl or a little owl will do, and a large owl needs more territory.
  • Planning your own schedule, taking into account the fact that owls are active in the evening, at night and in the early morning.
  • The need to equip the aviary for free flight. Some allocate a separate room for its maintenance, after removing furniture, fragile interior items and curtain windows with thick curtains.
  • Providing food and water. The diet should include freshly bittered rodents, lizards, small birds (necessarily entirely, which is caused by the characteristics of digestion).
  • Regular bathing in tanks that are suitable in size.

Owls are birds of prey fanned by a halo of mystery. In Egypt, they were protected from possible dangers, and after death they were often mummified. The ancient Slavs believed that owls could guard underground treasures.

Many legends that have come down to our days indicate that these birds were afraid and believed in their mystical power. Also, owls since ancient times are a symbol of a storehouse of knowledge and wisdom.

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In the comments write what kind of owl you would like to keep at home.

Western Little Eared Owl

Habitat: from Southeast Alaska to western Canada and from the western United States to central Mexico

These owls purposefully bring small blind snakes, similar to large earthworms, to the nest to protect them from insects. Since the common prey of owls is dead rodents, the smell of their bodies can attract a large number of insects to the nest, which the snakes feed on.

Habitat: all continents except Antarctica

The constellation of spots on the head is a barn owl, it is not just a decoration. It is believed that the more spots it has, the more resistant it is to parasites and the more attractive it is for males.

Rabbit owl

Habitat: in open landscapes of North and South America

As you might guess, these owls live in burrows underground, which previously belonged to small mammals, such as gophers and prairie dogs. Unlike others, these burrowing owls are active during the day, especially in spring, when they need to get food to feed their large broods.

West American scoop

Habitat: in the summer in southwestern Canada, throughout the western United States, and in Mexico, where they fly to winter

The name of this species sounds like "psiloscops flammeolus", and translated from Latin means "fiery orange", which is a description of their unique color. Scoop loves to hunt night insects and spiders, which it catches in the air or among the foliage.

Great Horned Owl

Habitat: throughout the continent of North America and for the most part South

Like other owls, the great horned owl eats its prey along with fur, feathers, bones, meat, and internal organs. It is also the only predator that can hunt skunks.

Eared owl

Habitat: North America, Europe, Asia, and locally in North Africa, winter in southern parts of Mexico and China

The so-called "ears", after which the owl got its name, are actually tufts of feathers on top of the head. Researchers believe that these beams of feathers can help them to disguise as their neighborhood. They are also very resourceful: instead of building their own nest, these owls use nests built by other birds, such as magpies and crows.

Eurasian eagle owl

Habitat: Europe and Asia

There are very few animals in its habitat that can intimidate a Eurasian Eagle Owl with its two-meter wingspan. They regularly hunt mammals, ranging from hares and to deer, and they are not averse to eating other birds, such as herons and buzzards.

Northern Spotted Owl

Habitat: Western North America and Central America

Owls, also known as dwarfs, remain active during the daytime. During the hunt, they rely solely on their vision, as unlike other owls, they do not have good hearing, quiet flight and night vision.

North American scoop

Habitat: East of the North American Rockies and Northeast Mexico

Also, these owls are known as screaming, but eared birds use their abilities to make sounds similar to a quiet neigh or a soft trill.

Owl: description and photos. What does a bird look like?

The owl is a night bird of prey. Depending on the place of residence, it may have different coloring of the plumage, masking the owl under the surrounding area. The owl's head is round with large eyes, the claws are long and sharp, and the beak is predatory and short.

Different types of owls have different sizes. The smallest owl is a owl. Its dimensions are only 17-20 cm, and weight 50-80 g. The largest of the owl is the owl. Its length is 60-70 cm, and weight from 2 to 4 kg.

The life of an owl in nature is about 10 years, in captivity these birds live up to 40 years. The very short life of an owl in its natural environment is often explained by hunger and hunting for owls of other birds of prey such as hawks and golden eagles.

Owl paws are very strong and quick, many of them are feathered. Owl claws sharp and curved, they help her to quickly grab the victim and hold her. Flying owls almost silent, this is due to the special structure of feathers. The first outer feathers are sawtooth and fringed serrated. The third and fourth owl feathers are longer than the others. The tail is rounded and trimmed, and the tail feathers are curved. The wingspan of the owl is about 142-200 centimeters. These birds fly very fast: the speed of an owl in flight reaches 80 km / h.

The bird makes a characteristic click when it is irritated or experiencing arousal. It turns out this is her thanks to the beak. The owl's beak is bent from the beginning to the very base, ends with a crochet, the edges are even and without cuts.

Owls can turn their heads 180 and even 270 degrees, without causing inconvenience or harm. The owl bird is a predator, and it needs to track down prey, so the eyes are not located at the sides, but in the front.

The owl's eyes are fixed and look only straight ahead. To change the direction of gaze, the bird must turn its head. At the same time, the owl’s angle of view is 160 degrees, and its eyesight is binocular, unlike other birds. World owls see in black and white. The lens of the owls is not in the eyeball, but in the horn tube, so the birds see very well at night.

Owl's hearing is 4 times better than that of a cat. As soon as the prey presents itself with a rustle or a sound, the bird rushes at it with lightning speed.

Types of owls, names and photos

In the owl family, there are 3 subfamilies, 30 genera and 214 species, the most common of which are:

  • Eared owl (lat. Asio otus)

The bird has a length of 31-36 centimeters. The wingspan reaches 86-98 cm. In the color of this species of owl a gray-brown shade with variegated spots prevails, the chest has a white color. On the upper side of the body there are dark spots, on the lower side there are transverse stripes. On the head of an eared owl there are large ear beams, which consist of six feathers.

It inhabits coniferous forests, prefers European countries or the north of Asia as places for nesting, flies to the north of Africa for wintering. The eared owl eats rodents, mice, voles, insects and birds.

  • Bearded Tawny (lat. Strix nebulosa)

A large bird, having a length of 80 cm and a wingspan of 1.5 meters. The big-headed bird has a smoky gray color. Dark stripes are located around the owl's yellow eyes.

It feeds owls of rodents and squirrels. For nesting chooses nests of hawks and buzzards, it does not build nests itself. The black spot under the bird's beak looks like a beard, hence the name of the bird. The bird has no feather ears, there is a white collar around its neck. The underside of the wings conceals dark stripes.

Bearded tawny owl lives in the zone of taiga and mountain forests in the Baltic countries, in the European part of Russia, in Siberia, on Sakhalin, in Mongolia.

Has a length of 60-75 cm, wingspan 160-190 cm. The weight of the male owl reaches 2.1-2.7 kg, the weight of the females is 3-3.2 kg. The eagle owl is the largest bird of the order owl. In the plumage of the predator, reddish and ocher colors predominate, the owl's eyes have a bright orange color, and tufts of elongated feathers are located above the eyes.

Owls live in forests and steppes of Eurasia, they hunt rodents, mice, ravens, hedgehogs, hares, birds and other vertebrates.

  • Pygmy owl (lat. Glaucidium passerinum)

The length of the owl's body is 15-19 cm, the wingspan reaches 35-40 cm. Weight reaches 55-80 g. At the same time, males are smaller than females. The owl has a gray-brown or dark brown color; white feathers are distinctly distinguished on the feathers, larger on the back and smaller on the head. The bottom of the bird is white with longitudinal stripes of brown. The tail is gray-brown, there are 5 narrow lanes on it. The head is small and has a round and slightly flat shape; the owl has no ears. White and brown rings are located around the eyes of the pygmy. The eyes of the bird are yellow, there are white eyebrows above the eyes. The owl claws have a black or yellow color. The paws are fully supported, to the claws.

  • Little owl (lat. Athene noctua)

A small bird, having a length of 25 cm and a weight of about 150-170 g. The color of the plumage of females and males is the same. The back of the bird has a light brown or sand color. On the white abdomen of an owl there are brown longitudinal mottled spots. Round white spots are located on the shoulder feathers.

The little owl lives in the south and in the center of Europe, in the north of Africa and in the southern Asian countries. In Russia, the owl is found mainly in the center and in the south of the European part, in the Southern Altai and Transbaikalia. Birds live in the steppe and desert regions, build nests in stones and burrows. The little owl eats insects, lizards, rodents, and sometimes birds.

  • Common barn owl (lat. Tyto alba)

Differs from other owl species with a seric facial disc. The length of the barn owl reaches 34-39 centimeters with a wingspan of 80-95 cm. The weight of the bird of prey is 190-700 grams. The coloring of the red-headed barn owl with numerous transverse stripes, stripes and speckles. The color depends on the habitat of the bird. The tail of the bird is short. Barn owl ears have an unusual asymmetrical arrangement: if the left one is at the level of the forehead, then the right one approaches the nostril area. Thanks to this feature, the bird hears very well.

The barn owl lives on all continents, except for cold Antarctica. In Russia, he lives only on the territory of the Kaliningrad region.

  • White owl (polar owl) (lat. Bubo scandiacus, nyctea scandiaca)

Has a body length of 55 to 70 cm, the weight of a bird is 2-3 kg. The wingspan reaches 143-166 cm. The color of the bird living in the tundra zone serves as a disguise, therefore white colors with dark spots prevail in it. The beak of a polar owl is black, the eyes are bright yellow. Paws of the predator are completely pubescent.

The polar owl lives in Eurasia, North America, Greenland, on the islands of the Arctic Ocean. The white owl feeds on rodents, lemmings, hares, ermine, white partridges, geese, ducks, fish. White owls are listed in the Red Book.

  • Hawk owl (lat. Surnia ulula)

It lives in forest regions in Europe, North America and Asia. In Russia it is found on Kamchatka, in the Magadan region, on Chukotka, on the coast of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk. It feeds on rodents (mice, lemmings, voles), sometimes it hunts squirrels, hazel grouses, black grouses, partridges and other birds.

The length of the bird reaches 45 cm. The tail of the bird is long, the color is brown-brown with white spots, in the lower part of the body there are thin stripes. Hawk owl eyes and beak are yellow.

Where do owls live?

Owls live all over the world, not finding them only in Antarctica. In Russia, there are 17 species of owls. A large number of these birds can be found in the forests, and only a few of them live in open areas.

Basically, the owl lives in the hollow and nests. The owl finds a home almost everywhere: in the forests, mountains, steppes and deserts. The eared owl lives on all sorts of fields, as it hunts in open areas, but creates its nests only in the forest. The white owl lives in the tundra, in winter it flies far to the south, does not like wooded places. Bearded tawny owl lives only in taiga dense forests. Owl species such as the barn owl and the owl find a house under the roofs and in attics.

What owl eats?

The question of what the owl bird feeds on in nature interests many people. This bird, both in its natural habitat and in captivity, eats rodents, small birds, insects, animals. The diet depends on the habitat of the owl. Owls of medium and large sizes feed on rats, mice, lemmings, hedgehogs, lizards, shrews, hares, frogs, toads, bats, moles, snakes, chickens. Little owls eat mostly insects (beetles, grasshoppers), and birds living in coastal areas eat fish, crabs and mussels. Owls living in tropical countries eat fruits, plants and berries. An owl bird can live without water for several months, quenching its thirst with the blood of its victims.

Breeding owls

Owls form monogamous pairs. A pair of owls do not build their nests, they occupy crevices, hollows, or nests thrown by other birds. Marsh owls build nests on the ground in dense vegetation. Owls can breed once or several times a year, it all depends on the amount of food in the habitat. In laying can be from 3 to 10 eggs. The eggs of owls are white, spherical and relatively small. The eggs are hatched by the female owl. The owl male is involved in feeding the offspring. Very often in the nest live chicks of different ages. Parents feed all offspring, but most of them are given to elder owls. Older owl chicks with food shortages may even eat their younger cousins.

Owl keeping at home

Keeping an owl at home has become a very common occupation. Но обязательно нужно помнить, что сова – ночной житель и основная активность у птицы приходит на вечер, ночь и утро. В этот временной период они выходят на охоту. С вечера до утра домашняя сова будет шуметь, прикрикивать и заниматься своими делами, мешая хозяину спать.

С питанием совы тоже есть некоторые сложности, пищеварительная система у этой птицы устроена так, что ей нужно съедать целую тушку мыши или птички. Логично, что кормление мясом отпадает, готовьтесь к закупкам мышей.

Также уделите особое внимание выбору вида совы, для стандартной городской квартиры подойдут ушастая или болотная сова. There will be little space for inchoate and owl even if you have a wide apartment or house.

What is the difference between owl and owl?

The owl is a bird of prey from the order of owls, of the owl family. It belongs to the genus of the eagle owl. This bird differs from other owl species in its appearance. First, the owl has the largest size compared to other owls. The head of the eagle owl is rather large and has characteristic features: in the area of ​​the auditory orifices there are short rigid feathers resembling auricles. In eagle owl characteristic color of feathers, reddish-fawn color. On a head and a back clear dark strips flaunt.

Secondly, unlike many species of owls that hunt only at night, the owl is a bird of the day and sees well in the daytime.

The prey of owls is mainly small rodents and insects, while the owl hunts pheasants, hares and young roe deer. This type of prey lives mainly in the steppe zone. In such places it is convenient for the owl to go hunting because of its large wingspan.

Owl on the left, owl on the right. Authors of the photo: snowyowls, Lotse

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(Asio flammeus) has a total length of 34–42 cm, with a wingspan of 85–110 cm, wing length 28–34 cm, weighs 320–430 g. Females are larger than males. Ears are short. Both sexes are painted the same. In adult birds, the dorsal side is ocher or reddish with a brown longitudinal pattern, primary and helmsman with a brown transverse pattern. The ventral side is buffy, reddish or whitish with brown longitudinal spots. Eyes are yellow, beak and claws are black. The swamp owl is widespread in Europe from tundras to the Mediterranean, in North Asia from the tundra belt in the north east to Kamchatka, Sakhalin, south to Palestine, Iraq, Central Asia and Mongolia, in America from the north of Alaska and the Mackenzie River to the islands of the Caribbean, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, is found on the Galapagos, Caroline and Hawaiian Islands. The swamp owl is migratory in the northern parts of the distribution area, and migratory and migrating birds in the rest. Inhabits open spaces, tundra, cultural landscape, steppe. It lives on the plains, but in some places (Altai, the Caucasus) rises to a height of 2300 m. Reproduction times vary depending on the latitude of the terrain. In Russia, egg laying in the south occurs around mid-April, in Siberia - in early May and even later. The swamp owl, unlike most other owls, builds its own simple nest located on the ground. The number of eggs in clutch varies greatly, apparently, depending on the feeding conditions. In the clutch there are usually 3-5 eggs, but in the “mouse” years their number increases to 7 or even 10. In the years that are exceptionally favorable for the “harvest” of mice, there are second clutches, even in late autumn and winter. The female incubates, starting with laying the first egg, therefore the chicks in the brood are of different ages. Duration incubation 24-30 days. Nestlings leave the nest still non-flying, but at the age of one month they become on the wing. The marsh owl mainly feeds on rodents, the rest of the food - birds, insects - are of secondary importance in its feeding. The marsh owl is not a strictly night bird, it is also active during the day.

CAVE OWL (Speotyto cunicularia) is very close to the owls. It is widespread in the south of North America and throughout South America. It has long bristles covered with bobbins and fingers, wide wings, and a short tail. The total body length is about 20 cm. It is similar in color to the common owl, but has a transverse pattern on the belly and sides. It dwells on plains and mountains, in the Andes up to a height of 4000 m. It is kept in open areas. It nests in burrows, natural or dug by other animals, sometimes it also digs holes. In laying 6-9, sometimes up to 11 eggs. Both parents incubate them for 28-29 days. Cave owls feed mainly on insects, but also on small mammals - rodents and insectivores, less often amphibians, reptiles and small birds. Active day. The number of cave owls as a result of the availability of their nesting sites for predators and humans is markedly reduced. Acclimatization of the mongoose in the West Indies led to the fact that at the end of the last century, cave owls disappeared: on some islands (Maria-Galante, Antigua, Nevis, Kitte).


OWL NORTH NEEDLE (Ninox scutulata) is the only representative of this group living within Russia. Its total length is 30–33 cm, with a wingspan of 75–80 cm and a wing length of 23–25 cm. The overall color of adult males and females on the dorsal side is dark brown with white transversely elongated mottling on the shoulders. Fly dark-brown with a light transverse pattern, steering brown with black transverse stripes. The ventral side is brown with the whitish edges of the feathers; the undertail is white with brown dash lines. The iris is yellow, the beak is dark brown, the legs are yellow with black claws. Fingers covered with stiff bristles. The northern needle-headed owl inhabits South and East Asia from India and Ceylon to Japan, Primorye, Indochina, Indonesia, in Russia inhabits Primorye, reaching in the north to the Hungar river, in the west to Khabarovsk. It inhabits mixed and deciduous forests and riverine thickets, interspersed with open spaces, in particular with the cultural landscape. In Japan, Russia, Manchuria, Korea - migratory bird, in the rest of the nesting area settled. In Russia, the lifestyle of this owl has not been studied. Insects are noted as its food - beetles (swimmers, ground beetles, dung beetles) and butterflies.

SOVEHOVE OWL (Sceloglaux albifacies) lives in the mountains in the south of the New Zealand South Island. To some extent, it approaches the genus of owls (Athene). It is 35–38 cm long. The general color is ocher-yellowish with large brown markings, with striped wings and tail. The front disc is white with small brown dashes. Legs are feathered, fingers covered with bristles. This bird is one of the rarest endemics of the New Zealand fauna. European colonists who brought cats and rats with them brought the owl almost to extinction.

SOVIA HAWKER (Surnia ulula) is somewhat isolated from other owls. It has medium size, a round small head, an incomplete face disk, relatively small eyes, long sharp wings, a long sharply stepped tail, densely-trimmed tzhevki and fingers. The total length of the hawk owl is 35–40 cm, with a wingspan of 70–80 cm, the length of the wing is 22–25 cm, and weight is 250–370 g. The females are larger than the males. The general color of adult males and females on the dorsal side is chocolate-brown with white specks, especially developed on the crown, neck and shoulders, flight and steering dark-brown with whitish transverse pattern, abdominal side white with regular transverse blackish-brown stripes. The iris is yellow, the beak is yellowish-brown, the claws are black. The hawk owl is especially characteristic of the taiga belt of North America, Europe and Asia. In the north, its range reaches the border of the forest, in the south to the middle part of Scandinavia, the central parts of the European part of Russia, the southern edge of the taiga in Siberia - Tyumen and Altai. The hawk owl is also found in Tarbagatay, Tien Shan, Northern Mongolia, Manchuria, Primorye and Sakhalin. A resident bird, associated in distribution with woody vegetation, mainly coniferous. However, at times the hawk owl makes irregular migrations, appearing then to the south of the nesting area, more regular migrations are observed in Siberian owls. It is an ordinary bird, but its number fluctuates over the years, mainly depending on the “harvest” or “poor harvest” of feed - mouse-like rodents. The number of rodents determines both fecundity and the scale of migrations of hawkish owls. It nests mainly in trees with broken tops, sometimes in hollows (aspens) or in old bird nests (raven, carnivorous). Laying eggs usually occurs in April. Masonry often consists of 3-4 white eggs, but in mouse years much more — from 7, 9, even '10, in exceptional cases from 13 eggs. The female incubates, starting with laying the first egg, sometimes with some male participation. Duration of sitting is not exactly determined, probably about 4 weeks. Podletkie chicks are usually found in the second half of June, fully grown young flying — on different dates in July. Rodents (lemmings and other voles) are primarily food for the hawkish owl. An owl attacks on birds - on white partridges and on various passerines. The hawk owl is a day bird, it hunts in the daytime, especially early in the morning or towards evening.

OWL WHITE (Nyctea scandiaca) is a large bird: total length is 56–65 cm, wingspan is 150–160 cm, wing length is 38.5–46 cm, weight is 1350–2500 g. Females exceed males in size. Adult birds of common white color with brownish mottled varieties of various sizes or with brown transverse stripes. Males are usually lighter than females, sometimes completely white. The iris is bright yellow, the beak is almost completely covered with bristle-like, forward-facing feathers, black, the claws are black. In the first annual costume, these owls are white with a brown transverse pattern and with brown specks on the back of the head. White owls have a circular polar distribution and are very characteristic of the Arctic and Subarctic. They inhabit the oceanic islands, coasts and mainland tundras. These are partly sedentary, but mostly nomadic birds. The migrations are irregular and depend on local conditions - snow cover, availability and abundance of food, etc. Sometimes the migrations take on a mass character and occupy large spaces. Nomadic owls are found mainly in the open landscapes of the temperate strip of the northern hemisphere - forest-steppe, steppe, as well as in cultural landscapes. The migrations usually begin in October. On wintering birds remain until about April. The white owl in the north is a common bird, but its numbers fluctuate year by year depending on the feeding conditions, primarily the abundance (“harvest”) of lemmings. When the lemmings are small, the fecundity of the owls decreases (usually the next year after the extinction of the lemmings), and in the absence of the lemmings, the owls do not nest at all. Owl nests are located in both high and low tundra, preference is high and dry places, as the owl begins to lay eggs when the terrain is still covered with snow. White owls do not build their own nests, their nest is a hole where eggs are laid. Egg laying occurs depending on the latitude of the terrain in the middle - end of May. The usual number of eggs in the clutch is 5–8, in unfavorable food conditions the years are less — 3–4, and, conversely, in the optimum until 11 and even 13. Hatching begins from the first egg, therefore the chicks are of different ages and usually the younger ones do not survive. The female incubates the clutch for 32–34 days, the male wears it, and then the brood prey. Chicks appear in late June (older) - early July (younger). On the wing, the surviving owl becomes 51–57 days old. The food of white owls consists mainly of mouse-like rodents, and above all the Norwegian, Ob ​​and hoofed lemmings. As mentioned above, the “lees” and “crop failures” of lemmings determine the course of the main periodic phenomena in the white owl's life - reproduction, migrations, seasonal distribution, etc. Owls also feed on various voles, ground squirrels, during the rearing of chicks and birds mainly young, such as white partridges, sandpipers, gulls, eagles, even passerines (Lapland plantain). In non-nesting time, the food of white owls is more diverse: hares, pikas, small predators (ermine), birds of average size (chicken, ducks). During the hunt, the snowy owl sits on the ground, preferably on any elevation, looks out for approaching prey, takes off and grabs it. Sometimes it hunts on the fly, trembling at the same time in one place in the air, like a kestrel. The white owl, of course, is not a strictly night bird, but still usually hunts either in the early morning or in the evening.

TROUBLED HARBOR (Strix nebulosa) is the largest species of owls found in Russia (and the biggest little owls in general). It is a long-tailed and long-winged bird, its total length is 63–66 cm, wingspan is 130–140 cm, wing length is 41–48 cm, weight is 700–1200 g. Females, as usual in owls, are larger than males. The dorsal side of adult females and males is grayish-brown with a thick longitudinal and transverse pattern, ocher-whitish and dark brown, the right light and dark transverse pattern on the crown, nape, back of the neck, fly-dark brown with an ocher transverse pattern in the main part feathers, steering dark brown with irregular light transverse pattern, gray front disc with black concentric stripes and black spot near the eye, black longitudinal band along the throat. The ventral side is whitish with a pale brown longitudinal pattern and small brownish specks. The iris is bright yellow, the beak is yellow, the claws are brown. Bird of northern coniferous forests of the eastern and western hemispheres. In North America, it is distributed from the middle parts of Alaska, Mackenzie, Quebec, south to the north of British Columbia, the provinces of Alberta and Manitoba, Ontario, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Idaho, western Montana and California, in Europe — to the north of Scandinavia. In the former USSR, it is distributed from the northern outskirts of taiga, to the south to Lithuania, Belarus, the Yaroslavl region, in the Middle Urals, in Siberia to the south to Tyumen, Tara, Altai, Transbaikalia, Priamurye, Sakhalin. In Asia, it is found in the mountains of northern Mongolia. Resident and migratory birds, migrations are associated with unfavorable feeding conditions. The bearded owl uses old nests of other birds, perhaps building its own nest, more often on the tops of broken trees, high from the ground. Masonry celebrated in mid-April - early May. The number of eggs in the clutch is 3-5, more often 4, sometimes one, which depends on the "harvest" of the main feed. Therefore, there are years when bearded owls do not start breeding at all. Apparently, only female incubates, hatching begins after the first egg is laid. Term nasizhivaniya about a month. Nestlings start flying at the age of about 35 days. Broods are kept together with their parents all autumn. Rodents (in Scandinavia, especially lemmings), small carnivorous mammals, birds of average size (for grouses and grubs are indicated for Eastern Siberia) form the food of bearded tawny owl. Bearded tawny hunts at nesting time during daylight hours.

OWL MOCHONOLOGY (Aegolius funereus) is characterized by a large and broad head with rudimentary feather ears, pronounced and asymmetrical (due to the structure of the ears) facial disc, relatively small eyes, a weak beak, long and wide wings, a short tail, thickly feathered up to claws (in southern relatives of the Ophthalmic Owl, the toes are partially or not fully feathered). The total length is 21–27 cm, the wing is 15–19 cm, and the weight is 120– 190 g. The females are somewhat larger than the males. The color is grayish-brown with white mottling, forming a cross-pattern on the wing and tail, large white mottled on the back of the head, neck and shoulders, the abdominal side is white with a brown longitudinal pattern. Eyes are yellow, beak is yellow, claws are black. The blue-nosed owl is widespread in the mountainous and lowland coniferous forests of Europe, Asia, and North America. In Russia - from the Kola Peninsula and the Kaliningrad region in the west to Anadyr, Kamchatka, the Kuril Islands, Sakhalin, Primorye in the east. It is found in the Carpathians, in the Caucasus, in the mountains of Central Asia, in the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Balkans, in the north of Mongolia, in Western China, in North America - in British Columbia, Canada, in the northern regions of the United States. Sedentary, partly nomadic birds. In the north, are daytime life, in the south nightlife. In the European part of Russia, laying of the foot-legged owl occurs in the second half of April, in Siberia - later. In laying 4-6, sometimes more white eggs. The female incubates for 25-31 days. Nesting period of about 30 days. Nests in hollows. Rough-legged owls feed mainly on small animals - mouse-like, insectivorous, as well as small passerine birds.

NECKLACE (Strix aluco) Abyss - medium and large birds (for owls) size, with a total length from 30 to 70 cm, gray or reddish with a variegated color, some species are dimorphic in color. The head of the owls is relatively large and round, without feather lugs, with a strong beak compressed, the face disk is full. Ears are asymmetrical, eyes with a brown iris (except bearded owl). Claws long, sharp, steeply curved. The plumage is soft and loose, the wings are wide and rounded, the tail of moderate length with a rounded tip. Legs are feathered to claws (with rare exceptions). Forest birds, leading mainly nocturnal. They feed on prey caught on the ground, the basis of feeding is rodents, they also hunt small and medium-sized birds, amphibians and reptiles, and invertebrates (mollusks, worms, arthropods). Nests in hollows or in old nests, occasionally in burrows or crevices of stones. Masonry in southern species of 1-3, in birds of a moderate strip of 2-4, rarely more white eggs. The female incubates for 28-30 days, starting with laying the first egg. At the age of 5-6 weeks, the chicks are on the wing, but throughout the first autumn they stay together with their parents. Tawny trees are sedentary birds, but in the northern parts of the distribution area they move to the south, especially when weather conditions (snow cover, cold weather) make it difficult for them to obtain food. In the fauna of the former Soviet Union, owls are represented by three species. Обыкновенная неясыть (S. aluco) - птица средней величины: общая длина 40—45 см, при размахе крыльев 90 – 105см, длине крыла 23—34 см, вес 450—685 г. Самка крупнее самца, оба пола окрашены одинаково. У взрослых птиц два типа (вариации) окраски — серый и рыжий, распределение которых в известной степени связано и с географическим распространением. Общий тон окраски спинной стороны серых птиц серый с охристыми отметинами, наружные опахала плечевых и больших кроющих крыла с крупными белыми пятнами, маховые серовато-бурые с охристым оттенком и светлым поперечным рисунком, рулевые серые с охристыми поперечными полосками и мелкими темными серовато-бурыми крапинками. Брюшная сторона беловатая с буровато-серым темным рисунком из наствольных отметин и поперечных полос.In birds of red color, the total color of the dorsal side is red, more uniform. There are also intermediate ones between the two types of color described by the individual, and occasionally (in our case mainly in the Caucasus) there are monotonously colored dark coffee and brown owls. The iris is dark brown, the beak is yellowish, the claws are black. The common tawny in its distribution is associated with woody vegetation. It inhabits forests (the southern part of the taiga, a strip of mixed and deciduous forests) and does not avoid the cultural landscape (gardens, parks). In the north it is mainly a flat bird, in the south of the distribution area (Caucasus, Central Asia, etc.) it is also found in the mountains. A settled or irregular migrating bird. In Russia, common tangle is common from the Leningrad region, the southern parts of the Vologda region, the Kirov region south to the Crimea and Transcaucasia, in the southern parts of Western Siberia from Tyumen and Tobolsk in the north, in the mountains of Central Asia. Outside the USSR it is widespread in Europe, except for the extreme north, to the west to Ireland and the United Kingdom, to the south to the Mediterranean, to the Anterior and Central Asia, to the east to China, to the south to Pakistan and the Himalayas, in North-West Africa north of the Sahara . The common owl in the temperate zone is an ordinary bird, the number of which increases after feeding-friendly (“mouse”) years and decreases after years with poor feeding conditions. Although tawny and sedentary bird, but in adverse years it is forced to migrate. Common tawny grows early, spring revival in the behavior of owls is observed at the end of February - in March. It nests in hollows, sometimes occupies other people's nests (raven, birds of prey), sometimes nests in buildings. Eggs lay mainly in early April. Usually there are 2-4 white eggs in a clutch, but in feeding years and more - in the Tula region, for example, 7 and even 8 eggs. Hatching begins with laying the first egg, the chicks in the brood are therefore uneven

The Owl (Otus scops) has a length of 20-22 cm, with a wingspan of 50-55 cm, with a wing length of 14-16 cm, weighs about 80 g. The total color of the dorsal side is brownish-gray with a dark longitudinal and transverse pattern and with more or less less developed red shade. On the back of the neck, the outer sheaths of the shoulders, the middle coverts of the wings and the belly are white flecks. Primary primary brown with a gray top, with a smoky transverse pattern on the inner webs and whitish spots on the outer webs. Steering greyish-brown with dark speckles and irregular light transverse pattern. The ventral side is lighter than the dorsal, with whitish transverse markings. Feathering is reddish with dark brown dashes. Young are similarly colored to adults, there is no difference in the color of males and females (but the latter are somewhat larger than the first). The iris in adults is orange, the young are light yellow, the beak is brown with a black apex, the cive is dark brown, the paws are yellowish brown, the claws are blackish at the top, yellowish at the base. Splushka is common in southern, central and eastern Europe, in North Africa, in Minor, Middle East and Central Asia, in southwestern and middle regions of Siberia. Keeps in deciduous and mixed forests, in gardens and parks. In the mountains it rises to the upper border of the high forest. The migratory bird that appears in the south at about the end of April, in the middle zone at the beginning of May, in Siberia later, even at the end of May. Fly takes place in September. This owl winters in tropical Africa (from Senegal and Sudan to Uganda and Kenya) and in South-West Asia. Actually the nest is not satisfied. Eggs are laid mainly in hollows, less often in abandoned nests of other birds, in burrows, crevices or in buildings. A laying from 2-5, sometimes 6 eggs, at the end of May. The female incubates, beginning with the first egg, 24-25 days. Nestlings leave the nest at three weeks of age, not yet attaining full growth. At first, broods are kept together, and parents feed already flying chicks. Splyushka feeds mainly on insects — beetles, butterflies, rarely spiders, small birds and rodents.

The EASTER-ASIAN SOVENNA (Otus sunia) is close to an ordinary scoop. Its dimensions are somewhat smaller: total length 18–20 cm, with a wingspan of about 50 cm, wing length 14–15 cm. It differs from an ordinary moth in the absence of blackish brown longitudinal spots on the back and covering wings, light transverse marks are less developed . In addition to the dark grayish-brown variation, there is a bright redhead. This owl is distributed in South and Southeast Asia with the adjacent islands, north to Japan, Primorye and Manchuria. We have a migratory bird, in the south of the distribution area is saddled.

Otus baker (Otus bakkamoena) is the largest species of scoops found in Russia. Its total length is 23–27 cm, with a wingspan of 60–65 cm and a wing length of 16–17 cm. Females are larger than males. In the collar scoop, the dorsal side is brownish with a gray tinge, with ocher-yellowish speckles, with dark brown longitudinal spots and transverse lines. On the back of the neck there is an ocher or yellowish half-neck, primary makhovy brownish-gray with a dark and light pattern, steering with dark small specks and transverse stripes. Throat and goiter whitish. The ventral side is ocher with brown longitudinal spots and small transverse specks. The plumage of the bobbin and fingers is whitish or ocher, without pestrin. The iris is orange-yellow or brown, the beak is brownish, the claws are light brown. The collar scoop is widespread in East and South Asia from Sakhalin, the South Kuril Islands, Primorye and Japan to India, China, the Philippines, and Indonesia. A resident bird inhabiting the deciduous forests of the plains and the lower belts of the mountains.

DESERT (Otus brucei) bird 20–22 cm long, with a wingspan of 55–58 cm, with a wing length of 15–17 cm, weighs about 100 g. The color of adult birds on the dorsal side is pale sandy-grayish with various admixture of yellowish tones, with an obscure lighter pattern and sharp dark trunk bars, the ventral side is somewhat paler than the dorsal. Both sexes are painted similarly, the difference between them in size is negligible. The desert scoop is a characteristic bird of the Cultural landscape and riverine tugai desert zones of the Forward and Central Asia. To the north, it is distributed to the lower reaches of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya, to the east to the Fergana Valley, Tajikistan (including the Pamirs), it is found in eastern Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, and Xinjiang. The migratory bird that appears here at the end of March - early April and flies mainly in September. Wintering is located in Asia, relatively close to the breeding area, only slightly to the south. It nests most often in hollows, sometimes occupies nests of other birds (for example, forty). Masonry of 4-6 white eggs. Eggs lay in April. The female begins to incubate after laying the first egg. Hatching lasts about 4 weeks. Broods are kept together until August. The food of the desert scoop consists mainly of insects, bats and small birds are also noted as feed for this bird.

OWL HUSBAND (Athene noctua) has a length of 23-28 cm, with a wingspan of 57-64 cm, a wing length of 15-18 cm, weighs 160-180 g. There are geographical differences in size, the females are larger than males. The color of adult males and females on top is brown with light whitish spots, especially large ones on the back of the head, neck, shoulders, and wings. Fly brown with grayish tops and whitish transverse pattern, steering brown with ocher-whitish transverse stripes. The abdominal side is white with a brown longitudinal pattern, the front disc, the undertail, the white bobbin. The iris is yellow, the beak is yellowish-brown, the claws are blackish-brown. Little owl is widespread in Central and Southern Europe, in North Africa (including the Sahara, south to Sudan, eastern Ethiopia and Somalia), Front, Middle and Central Asia (south to Iraq, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, east to North China, Tibet and Korea). Keeps mainly in an open landscape, both in mountains, and on plains. In the north, it is largely associated with the cultural landscape, in the south it is found mainly in arid areas (deserts, semi-deserts, etc.). Sedentary bird The little owl forms constant pairs, the males and females stick together and outside the breeding season. It nests in burrows, in cliffs, in buildings, sometimes in haystacks, apparently, sometimes digs its own nesting mink. Actually it has no nest. Masonry is common in April, in the south at the end of March. In her 4-5, sometimes more, up to 8, white eggs. The female mainly incubates for about 4 weeks. At the age of one month, the chicks leave the nest, but reach full growth when they are 5 weeks old. At first, the broods are kept together. The house owl hunts during the day, but mainly at dusk and at the beginning of the night. The food consists of rodents, insects, reptiles and birds.

VORBINYY SCHYCHIK (Glaucidium passerinum) The most northern species of sons, common in our country. General dimensions: length 15-17.5 cm, wingspan 35-39 cm, wing length 9-11 cm, weight 55-80 g. Females are larger than males. The overall color of the dorsal side is brown with a more or less grayish tinge, with whitish pestrins and whitish transverse patterns on the fly-wing and steering, the ventral side is white with brown longitudinal stripes, the dark with white markings on the sides of the goiter and chest. Eyes are yellow, beak is yellow, claws are black. Toes are densely feathered to claws. Sparrow owl inhabits a strip of coniferous forests in Europe and North Asia. In the European part of Russia, it reaches the northern border of the forest on the Kola Peninsula, Arkhangelsk, in Siberia, approximately to the north of Baikal and east to Sakhalin. To the south it is distributed to the Carpathians, Smolensk, Ryazan regions, Buguruslan, Tyumen, Altai, Sayans, Transbaikalia, the Ussuri basin. Outside the Soviet Union in Asia, it is found in northern Mongolia and Manchuria, in Europe - in Scandinavia (to the Arctic Circle), in the mountains of Yugoslavia, Northern Italy and in the Pyrenees. It is a settled bird inhabiting high-stemmed, mostly coniferous forests. In the non-nesting time there are sometimes insignificant migrations. Pygmy owl nests in hollows most often aspen trees, sometimes birch. Laying sizes vary, apparently, depending on the feeding conditions. For Russia, clutches of 2-3 eggs were noted, in Western Europe of 4-6, even 7 eggs. Eggs are white. Full masonry come in late April. Hatching lasts about 4 weeks. Flying, raised chicks are found in late August. Like other taiga owls, the pygmy owl hunts during the day, at dawn, and at dusk. Its food is mainly rodents (hamsters, lemming and other voles, forest and house mice), shrews. It feeds on pygmy owl and small passerines. Insects also occupy a well-known place in the feeding regime of sons, especially in nestlings that have risen to the wing. For the passerine, the gathering of food stocks is characteristic, especially in winter. These stocks - mouse-like rodents or small birds killed by the owl - are formed in hollows.

A SYCHIK-ELF (Micrathene whitneyi) is close to the little passerine described above. It is a tiny owl, 12-14 cm long. It has a relatively large head, but a weak beak and weak paws, which is probably due to the fact that it feeds on small invertebrates. The wings are rounded, in the tail 10 helmsmen (and 12, like other owls). The color of the puppy elf is grayish-brown on the dorsal side with ocher or whitish marks, the collar is white or brown in color, the ventral side is white with ocher marks. The iris is lemon yellow, the beak and claws are pale brown. Sychik-elf is a settled bird of the desert areas of the southern United States (Baja California, Arizona) and Mexico. Its distribution is closely related to giant saguaro cacti. In hollows of these cacti, most often hollowed out by woodpeckers, sychik nests, sometimes.

(Bubo bubo) has a total length of 62-72 cm, with a wingspan of 150-180 cm, with a length of wing 41-52 cm, weighs 2.1-3.2 kg. Females are noticeably larger than males, both sexes are colored the same. Owls living in different parts of the range vary in size and color. Southern owls are generally smaller than northern ones. The typical coloring of adult owls is as follows. The dorsal side is variegated - on a reddish, yellowish, sometimes whitish background there is a black-brown longitudinal and transverse pattern. Primary primary fly-roots are rusty yellowish, closer to the top with a transverse blackish pattern, steering with irregular blackish transverse markings and specks on a yellowish or ocher background. The ventral side is reddish, ocher or whitish, with black longitudinal spots on the goiter and chest and with thin brownish or blackish transverse stripes on the belly, sides, undertail, white throat. The iris is bright orange or reddish, the beak and claws are black. Young birds are colored similarly to adults, but somewhat paler and dimmer. The owl is a widespread migratory and sedentary bird. In terms of habitat, it is illegible and is found in forests, steppes, deserts, plains and mountains (in the Tien Shan at an altitude of 3000 m, in Tibet even up to 4700 m). It nests in Europe, North Asia - in the north to the forest border, in the east to Yakutia, Sakhalin, Japan, in the south to North Africa, Arabia, South China. In Russia, the owls breed at the end of March - April. A nest is a simple, trampled fossa, without litter, usually on the ground (rarely abandoned nests of other birds). In laying, usually 2-3, sometimes 4 and even 5 eggs. The female incubates for about 35 days. Young eagle owls are well capable of flying at the age of several more than three months. Among young birds, a greater mortality is noted: the chicks in the brood are usually smaller than the eggs in the clutch. This is explained by the fact that the owls begin to incubate after the laying of the first egg and therefore the chicks are of different ages. The owl feeds on various medium and small mammals, from hares (hare and white hare) to small mouse-like and insectivorous. Rodents constitute preferred food. Occasionally the eagle owls attack even larger animals (females of roe deer, young mountain goats). A large place in the feeding of the eagle owl is also occupied by birds - from large chickens (capercaillie, black grouse), and predatory birds (peregrine falcon, Northern Goshawk), sandwort) to small birds. Occasionally, owls feed on frogs and even fish. The owl is a night and twilight bird, but in the north it hunts during the day. In other countries, the owls are represented by a number of species similar to an ordinary owl in structure and lifestyle, but differing in size and color. For example, in North, Central and South America, the American owl (V. virginianus) is widespread.

The OVA COAT (Asio otus) has a length of 35–39 cm, with a wingspan of 86–100 cm, a wing length of 27.5–32 cm, weighs 240–330 g. Females are larger than males. The male and female are painted the same: the dorsal side is ocher with dark brown nastolovnymi stripes, with transverse thin pestrinami and white markings on the humeral and covering wings. Fly yellowish with brown transverse pattern and greyish tops, steering rusty-buff with dark brown transverse stripes and small specks. The ventral side is reddish, ocher or whitish with wide longitudinal and narrow transverse dark brown stripes. Eyes are yellow or orange, beak and claws are black. The eared owl is widespread in Europe and Northern Asia, to the north to the limits of the high forest, to the east to the Okhotsk coast, Primorye and Japan (Hokkaido), to the south to Iraq, Central Asia, the Himalayas, China. It also lives in North Africa, the Canary Islands, North America. Keeps in the forests, both in the mountains and on the plains. Migratory in the north, migratory or sedentary bird in the south. It nests in forests, usually in old nests, less often in hollows, more rarely on the ground. The number of eggs is 4–5, and in favorable for feeding conditions years even up to 7–9 (sometimes with mass “harvest” of rodents there is autumnal reproduction). The female incubates for 27-28 days. At about four weeks of age, the young become on the wing and leave the nest. On flybys and hibernations, an eared owl, unlike other owls, usually keeps in groups or in small packs. The food of an eared owl consists mainly of various mouse-like rodents, birds in the feeding regime of owls occupy a small place, and other vertebrates (frogs) and insects are only occasional.

FILIN FISH (Ketupa zeylonensis) is distributed in the Far East from the northern coast of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk to Primorye, Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. This species is widespread in Palestine, in the southwest of Asia Minor, in Iran, India, Ceylon, Indochina and South China. The fish owl has wide feather ears, the facial disk is poorly developed. The fingers are bare with spines on the plantar surface, the tzipki are supported almost to the base of the fingers. The wings are long, the tail is slightly rounded. The sizes are large: the total length is about 70 cm, the wing is 51–56 cm. The overall color is grayish-brown with an ocher tint. On the forehead, crown, occiput unsharp transverse pattern. The back and covering wings with dark brown longitudinal spots and small speckles. Primary primary brown with ocher longitudinal and transverse patterns, steering with irregular lateral markings. On the back of the head, crown, sometimes white feathers are found among small covering wings. The throat is whitish, chest, sides, belly with narrow brown longitudinal spots and transverse dashes on the tops of feathers. Молодые в первом ходовом наряде сходны с взрослыми. Радужина оранжевая, клюв светло-бурый, пальцы и цевки темно-серые, когти бурые. Группа рыбных филинов, или рыбных сов, представлена в Южной и Восточной Азии и в экваториальной Африке. Это крупные птицы со слабооперенными цевками и неоперенными пальцами. Держатся они в лесистых местностях около водоемов и, как показывает их название, кормятся главным образом рыбой, кроме того, водными беспозвоночными (раки, крабы), при случае мелкими позвоночными — птицами, змеями, ящерицами, лягушками, а также насекомыми. Активны они в сумерках, но также и днем.In clutch, usually 2, less often 1-3 eggs, lay their owls in the nests of other birds, sometimes in hollows, but most often in holes on the ground or in coastal benches. Own nests of eagle owls do not build. Fish owls are sedentary birds.


Body length 45 cm.
Keeps near reservoirs, eating fish, and if necessary, and frogs, crustaceans, rodents and bats.