Household owls are the most common of all existing owls. They inhabit the western part of Europe, North Africa and South Asia and create nests on the plains, in the mountains, which sometimes reach 3,000 meters in height. In the north, the birds are very fond of flat landscapes, and in the south they prefer steppes, deserts and semi-deserts. The number of these birds is very large, and in some places is simply huge.
House owls are somewhat distinguished from other species on several grounds. They differ from scoops by slightly feathered fingers, and they do not have “ears”, from a sparrow's son - in sizes, and from a mountain-owl owl - by dense plumage and longitudinal motley feathers on the head.
Color a little brown, with a hint of olive. The claws are dark, brown in color. The beak is slightly yellowish. The bird has a special look - it looks as though frowningly with its large yellow eyes.
These birds are not so small in size. The little owl, whose photo you see in the article, weighs about 160-180 grams, its body length is 23-28 cm, its wings - 15-18 cm, and their span - 57-64 cm.
As a rule, there are sex differences, females are slightly larger than males. Having met, two birds create a constant pair and are together, even if the breeding season has not come. They arrange nesting sites themselves, sometimes digging out small pits or laying eggs in burrows, in different buildings, cliffs.
House owls: breeding
The breeding season begins in April or at the end of March, it depends on the owl's habitat. In one laying only four or five eggs, but there are eight. The female incubates them for about a month. When the chicks are four weeks old, they fly away from the nest. They reach adult sizes at the age of one and a half months. For some time, the young chicks hold together until they find a mate.
An owl is a nocturnal bird of prey, but sometimes it happens that it flies off to hunt and at dusk. His diet includes various rodents, lizards, worms, even frogs and reptiles, insects and small birds. However, if the owl sees a rodent, it will not even pay attention to other prey that is near it. This bird catches mostly mice or voles. Here are the eating habits.
The little owl whose photos are presented in our article has strong clawed paws. This allows him to hunt animals more than their own weight without harming themselves. In the deserts, victims of owls are often gerbils and large jerboas. In the holes that remain after the rodents caught by this bird of prey, they rest, and it also happens that they make their nest there. It turns out that they occupy someone else's housing and take tribute from the owners of the dwelling. House owls deserve praise from a person. All because they destroy the pests of our agriculture.
In addition to the owl, there are other species of birds of prey of the owl family. And we will consider them now.
This bird has a large and wide head, on which there are small feather ears. The eyes of the owl are small, the beak is weak, yellow in color, the wings are long (15-19 cm) and wide, the tail is short. Paws covered with thick feathers. The length of his body is 21-27 cm, weight - about 1200 grams. Females of boletus as well as house owls are larger than males. The color is grayish, sometimes brown, with mottled neck and back of the head. The abdomen is white with a longitudinal brown pattern.
Rough-legged owls are common in the mountains and on the plains of coniferous forests of Asia, Europe and North America. They also live in Russia, in the Caucasus, in the Alps, in Western China, in the Balkans. This is a sedentary bird species. Northern birds are diurnal, and in the south mostly nocturnal.
The breeding season begins in mid-April. The female lays in one laying four to six eggs in white. Hatching them for more than a month. The nesting period lasts about thirty days. They arrange their dwellings in hollows of large trees. They hunt mainly small rodents, but can eat insects and small birds.
As you already understood, the owl family is very diverse, and the males have fewer females. And this view is no different from others. However, they are slightly smaller in size than the birds listed above. The length of the bird’s body is 15–18 cm, the wings are 9–11 cm, and their span is 35–40 cm. These little sons weigh 60-80 grams. The color of feathers is brown, with a grayish tint and white flecks. Their claws are black, and their beak is yellowish. Fingers covered with thick feathers.
The pygmy lives mainly in coniferous forests of Northern Asia and Europe. In Russia, it can be seen in Arkhangelsk, on the Kola Peninsula, in Siberia and Sakhalin, as well as in the Altai, Ryazan Region, and Transbaikalia. This species is also sedentary. Their nests are built mainly in birch and aspen. The number of eggs laid depends on the abundance of feed. In Russia, the little ones often lay two or three eggs of white color, and in Europe - from four to six, there are even seven of them. The breeding season begins in late April. But grown chicks can be found in August.
Food and hunting
Hunting of sons takes place both during the day and at dusk, as well as at dawn. The diet of these small predators mainly includes rodents (lemmings, hamsters, mice, both forest and house), as well as they are not averse to trying shrews. They also love insects very much, but this delicacy is better suited for adult chicks. By the way, it is very characteristic of them that they store food, especially during the winter period. Birds are stored collected food in their hollows.
According to the description of this bird is very similar to the pygmy owl. Only this Sychik is just tiny, as its body size is only 12-14 cm. Despite this, it has a rather large head, but weak claws and beak. This is probably due to the fact that it feeds only on small invertebrates. His wings are rounded. The color, like all other owls, is gray-brown with white markings. Claws and beak are pale brown in color.
Sychik-elf is a sedentary bird. Lives in the desert areas of the United States and Mexico. He arranges his nests at a height of two meters or more, and only in the hollows of saguaro cacti, which are hollowed out by woodpeckers. It even happens that several different birds live on the same plant, including sons. In one clutch there are from two to five eggs, but more often only three. This is a nocturnal bird of prey that hunts only at night and feeds exclusively on insects.
Strange as it may sound, this bird species is terrestrial. They inhabit only the open spaces of America, Canada and Argentina. During the day, birds sit in their burrows and rarely fly out to hunt. Their flight is very low, literally above the ground. But it is almost impossible to see them in the air, they mostly run on their long legs. They make their nests in the burrows that mammals have left. The length of their home can reach four meters. Owls live in groups that are located close to each other. The nesting season they have from March to August. The number of eggs in one clutch can be from two to eleven. Hatch their offspring for about four weeks. And, by the way, the male at this time is in the hole next to the one where the female is sitting on the eggs.
This species of owl has a very interesting color - reddish-brown-gray, with specks. Eye color is yellow. The beak is greenish-pale gray, the legs of the same color, only the sole is yellowish. The length of these birds is only 23 cm, and the wings - 16 cm, but in the span of all 50. The tail is very short, only 7 cm.
Since they live exclusively on the ground, more precisely, in the ground, they are very susceptible to various dangers. Therefore, so that they could protect themselves and their offspring, mother nature endowed them with an interesting voice. They make sounds like a rattlesnake clack. Thus, they earned the nickname in the home "owl - rattlesnake." It is also the only owl of its kind who lives on the surface of the earth and has an interesting habit of pulling the neck to inspect the neighborhood.
They feed not only on small rodents and birds, but also on fruits, various seeds of cacti.
This species is on the verge of extinction due to the fact that its representatives live in burrows located in the ground. Every year their number decreases, the species requires restoration and protection.
All birds of the owl family are very interesting and have their own characteristics. After all, their types are still different from each other. Some are larger, others have longer wings or strong paws with huge claws, with which they grab their prey. All of them are beautiful in their own way, and some individuals need human protection at all. In addition, owls are very useful, because they do good, exterminating rodents, thus saving our crops.
How does the word "owl"
To begin with, the word "owl" is written without a soft sign on the end. According to one of the versions, the name came about in ancient times, when sullen or sad people were compared with a bird. In Kyrgyzstan, for example, birds are called "Baykush", which translates as poor or poor.
There is a second version, that the name of the bird is in tune with the whistle. The fact is that in comparison with the owl, which he is so similar to, the owl does not “wag”, but it whistles. The voice resembles a sad long cry. The Slavs, having heard the owl's voice, tried to repeat it, hence the name.
What is the difference between the owl and the owl?
Who is this owl? Indeed, the bird is very similar to owls, even belongs to the owl family. But there are significant differences between the two birds. Compared with the owl, the sizes are small. The body is powerful, but does not exceed 30 centimeters in length, the weight is only 200 g. The head is not round, but flattened, ears from feathers are absent.
Eyes are round, large with developed hyperopia, but fixed in the sockets. Therefore, to look around, the bird has to twist its head. Features of the structure of the neck can be rotated 135 degrees.
In appearance, the owl is very serious and gloomy, and a whisk of feathers above the eyes adds spectacularity. The powerful body ends with a short tail, the wings are quite large and wide. Legs, like torso, are covered with a layer of large feathers, the length depends on the particular type.
What species are found in nature
There are several varieties of birds. For example, little owl. Interestingly, its name comes from its habitat. The bird chooses nest sites near people, in barns, old abandoned houses, or roofs.
Indian owl is a very rare species that is listed as extinct.
The owl is divided into 26 species. Among them are tiny, pearl, owl-gnome, collar and others. Birds of the passerine genus differ in small body size and short wings, but at the same time have a long tail. The plumage is decorated with a beautiful pattern on the back of the head in the form of eyes, for which they were called “four-eyed”.
Sych-elves: the largest body size, found in nature - 14 cm, for which the bird and received such an unusual name.
Other varieties are known:
- spotted or Brahmin,
- South American,
- New Scots,
What is included in the diet of birds
The owl is an excellent hunter, seeing poorly up close, but at a great distance at night it can instantly hunt down food. On the paws there are filamentary feathers, which play the role of a sensor, suggesting a landmark for prey. In the diet of feathered include:
- mammals: field mice, ferrets, squirrels,
- large insects,
- little birds
Depending on the type of owl, the menu is slightly different. For example, an owl elf eats only insects and can even include a scorpion in its diet. The pygmy is cruel to little birds. Having caught them, eats away only tasty parts of the body. Most owl representatives stock up on food, hiding victims in their homes.
Where can I find a bird
Sullen feathered can be found on any continent of the Earth, except perhaps Antarctica. Interestingly, the appearance does not change depending on the habitat. The owl is not a migratory bird; it lives in its range year round. Most often, birds can be found in the steppes, desert plains or dense forests.
In Italy and Austria, the owl has long been famous as a domestic hunter. Feathers are cut wings and released into the garden to catch harmful rodents and insects. In Russia, this idea is not supported, because people believe that by taming the bird, they will bring misfortune upon themselves.
These birds do not build nests, but are taken or taken from other animals, while the “home” can be hollow and even a hole.
Owl mating season
By nature, owl - Monogamous. The male lives with one female until the end of his life, the average duration of which reaches 15 years. Birds begin to mate with one year. With the onset of spring, conception occurs, and the female lays up to five eggs. Hatching eggs, the expectant mother takes care of the male in the form of food.
The behavior of the owl-elves is different: during the incubation, the male replaces the female for the time she needs to hunt.
Hatching continues for four weeks. Chicks hatch into the light of the blind and covered with fluff. Immediately after their birth, the mother cleans up the nest, throwing out excess garbage from it. Kids develop rapidly and after 28 days become completely independent.
Now you know that a kind and caring bird is hiding behind a terrible and sullen look. Like her and share an interesting story with your friends.
Previously, hunters believed that the owl feeds exclusively on pheasants chicks. In fact, this bird feeds mainly on mice, beetles, earwigs and earthworms, sometimes it manages to catch a frog, bird or butterfly.
The house owl most actively hunts at dusk and early in the morning; moreover, it flies off to hunt at night and even sometimes during the day. During the day he chases small birds. The domestic owl usually lurks its prey sitting on its observation point and silently attacks it from above. He hunts on the ground, looking for animals in the grass and fallen leaves. When the prey escapes, it chases it on the ground, while the bird runs after it on its strong legs. Occasionally, the owl catches insects on the fly, pulls out of the ground, as the thrush does, earthworms, destroys the nests of other birds. When excess feed accumulates, the owl makes stocks on a rainy day. The carcass odor attracts insects - flies and carrion eaters (Silphidae), which are not opposed to profit from owl stocks.
The common owl avoids wooded areas, preferring open areas, where there are many areas from which it is convenient to observe. The little owl likes to settle on the outskirts of the villages and even in their central parts - in destroyed buildings, empty rooms, stone walls, and in southern countries - in palm groves. The little owl is a typical inhabitant of flat terrain, which is almost never found in the mountains. The owl's favorite observation spots are willows with sawn tops, fences, telephone poles and wires. A little owl can sit on them without moving for hours. Frightened bird immediately flies away. A characteristic flight path of the owl is a wavy line. An owl during a hunt for some time may hover in the air, fluttering its wings, at a height of 1-2 m from the ground. The little owl is not distinguished by special skill of flight and sometimes pursues prey on the ground. Having seen something unusual or interesting, the little owl starts nodding his head and wagging his tail up and down. House owls are kept in pairs. Interestingly, couples are also stored outside the nesting period. On the territory of about one square kilometer up to 20 pairs of these birds can simultaneously nest. Ordinary house owls voice to other birds that the territory is occupied, and chase away all uninvited guests.
Brownie owls nest in the period from April to July, usually the peak of nesting occurs in May or June. The owls create pairs for several years, although the birds are probably more attached to the territory than to the partner. The male performs a marriage dance and bows vigorously, wanting to attract the attention of the female. Partners communicate using voice signals, the male sometimes brings a tidbit to the female. The owl nest is usually found in the hollow of a tree, in a stone niche or in the hole of a wild rabbit. The female lays 3-5 eggs and incubates for 22-28 days. The male does not take part in hatching eggs, but brings the female feed. Nestlings are born covered with short, dense down, and both the female and the male bring food. After 4-5 weeks, little owls are already on the wing.
SURVEY OWL OBSERVATION
House owls are not found in the high and middle mountains, as well as in coniferous forests. They are less likely to be found in agricultural areas. A characteristic owl song can be heard in the spring in the rain. A little owl in the afternoon is more active than other owls, so you can, if you are lucky, watch it even in daylight. Под ветвями, которые домовый сыч облюбовал для поедания добычи, накапливаются кучки пищевых остатков. Нередко обычный домовый сыч гнездуется вблизи человеческого жилья, например, на чердаках домов и в скирдах соломы.
ИНТЕРЕСНЫЕ ФАКТЫ, СВЕДЕНИЯ.
- Однажды исследователь, наблюдавший за обычным домовым сычом, отметил, что птица в течение 45 минут поймала и съела 23 дождевых червей. Домовому сычу для удовлетворения жизненных потребностей ежедневно нужно 50-80 г пищи.
- Common owl common in the UK does not occur. An attempt to settle the owls in Yorkshire, which took place in 1842, ended in failure. The experience that was carried out by the forties years later in Kent County was successful.
- The little owl is not the smallest European owl. The body length of an ordinary scoop is 20-22 cm, and the pygmy is 17-20 cm.
CHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF THE HOUSEWORK
Flying in turns fly and soaring - it seems as if a bird is flying along a wavy path. Due to the wide wings with round ends, the owl during flight seems more than when sitting on a branch.
Chick: white fluff quickly changes to gray, and then to feathers. At the age of one month, the chick already leaves the nest. However, it reaches full growth only at the age of 5 weeks.
Head: large, with large expressive yellow eyes, no feather ears.
Body: strong and strong.
Plumage: birds of both sexes have different gray and brown shades with small white spots and stripes. The little owl has a very short tail.
Carrying: on average consists of three eggs.
- Habitat of a common little owl
Where it lives
The common owl is found throughout Europe, with the exception of northern regions, in North Africa, Front and Central Asia, as well as in China.
PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION
The little owl has adapted to life alongside the person, but in Central Europe the species is gradually disappearing. In the villages and on the cultivated lands the bird does not find enough necessary food and nesting places. However, the content of the owl at home has recently become popular.
The owl is a small bird. The length of her body does not exceed thirty centimeters, and the weight does not reach 200 g. If you compare an owl with a regular owl, it will resemble the nestling last, because the length of the owl's body reaches 67-70 cm, and its weight - 700 g. featured you can see that the owl's head has a more rounded shape, and in the owl it is flattened. On his head you will not find feathers that are shaped like ears. The rest of the owl is no different from the owl.
Also, this bird is characterized by the external features of a sullen person, since the feathers above the eyes are more like eyebrows. Syeks far-sighted, they may notice prey at a great distance, but not see what is happening a few inches from them. This bird has a short tail, which helps it to create the effect of a large wing span.
The size of the owl does not prevent him from being a skilled hunter. Depending on the species, they feed on different prey, but mainly rodents and some species of beetles are included in their diet. These birds are very selective and can catch prey according to their own preferences. Sometimes they hunt in pairs, usually in this way the owls catch larger prey, such as rats.
The habitat of the described birds is very extensive, they can be found anywhere in the world, except Antarctica. According to external data, owls of different species are very similar, but there are some interesting features.
The owl is a small owl with a rounded head. In size, this species is slightly larger than a pigeon. The color of the bird is brown, with white spots throughout the body. The head is large, with asymmetrical facial discs.
The owl is distinguished by a rather small eye size and a weak beak. His legs are covered with thick plumage, which led to the name "roe-legged." The beak of the bird is yellow.
Nesting of blue-nosed owls lasts for almost a month. Masonry is more than six eggs. Shaggy owls nest mainly in hollows. Their main ration is mouse voles and beetles.
The owl is a night bird, but in some areas it can also lead a daytime life. Rough-legged owls prefer to live in coniferous forests. Such birds live in Russia, Northern Mongolia, Western China and the northern regions of the United States.
The little owl is a brown-colored bird with small white spots. He has a small head and a short tail. The size of this bird is slightly larger than that of the coarse. He prefers to settle in an open area, in the mountains or on a plain. How the owl screams, you can find out, being near his nest. Singing is more like whistling.
Sychi - very permanent birds in terms of choosing a partner. Regardless of the breeding season, they always stick together. They try to create nests in burrows, sometimes they dig them themselves. And sometimes they find shelter in old abandoned buildings.
The laying of the little owl is more than 7 eggs. Birds usually hunt during the day. The basic diet consists of small birds and rodents. The described species lives in North Africa, in the countries of Asia, and also in Central and Southern Europe.
It is a tiny cinnamon-colored owl with gray and white lines. Her eyes are large, yellow, beak gray. Legs without plumage, but covered with bristles. These amazing birds fly like bats, only in a more coordinated way. They are not aggressive. Never engage in combat. Prefer to create nests in hollows. In the laying of this bird is not more than five eggs.
Sychik-elf absolutely can not hunt because of the weak beak and non-chain paws. Their diet consists of various insects. Birds live in the United States and Mexico, where they live in the trunks of saguaro cacti.
What is different from owl owl
In the article we have already listed the characteristics that owl possesses. The owl, like the owl, belongs to the owl family. To distinguish these two birds is very simple:
- Owl leads a daily lifestyle. This is the main distinguishing feature of the bird, since the main and constant period of wakefulness of the eagle owl is considered the dark time of the day.
- Owl is much bigger than owl. Its length reaches 80 cm, and the weight can be 4 kg. It's hard not to notice him, while the owl can easily hide.
- The diet of eagle owls is much more extensive than that of owl. Due to strong paws and powerful beak, the owl can attack large mammals.
- The owl has large feather ears, which are not characteristic of many varieties of owls.
- The eyes of the owl may have a red iris, which is absolutely not characteristic of yellow-eyed owls.
Description of owls
Depending on the classification, two to five species belong to the genus of owls.. According to the classification currently considered the most correct, only three species are counted as real owls: Brahmin, brownie and rabbit. And the forest owl belonging to them before, is now separated into a separate genus - Heteroglaux.
The owls cannot boast of large size: the body length of these birds is no more than thirty centimeters, and by weight they do not even reach 200 grams. The wingspan of their wings can reach about 60 cm. Externally, they resemble something of the owl chicks, while adult birds, although similar to owls, are much larger than their size. If the owl's head has a rounded shape, then the owl has a more oblate, resembling an elongated oval lying on its side, while their front disc is not very well pronounced. Another difference between owls and owls lies in the fact that they do not have feathers on their heads, which form a similarity to their ears.
The tail is relatively short, the wings in the folded state also look rather short. Owls have rather dense plumage of brownish or sandy shades, diluted with whitish spots, which form white eyebrows on the head, and scattered all over the body in a chaotic manner, resembling specks. At the same time, light shades prevail on the abdomen, on which bright spots of the main darker color stand out.
Claws are blackish-brown - quite long and sharp. The beak of owls can be one of the yellowish shades, often with an admixture of light green and gray, with the mandible sometimes sometimes darker than the mandible. The eyes of these birds are bright, with a well-pronounced black pupil, standing out against the background of brownish plumage. Eye color, depending on the species, can range from light yellow to bright yellowish-golden.
It is interesting! The expression of the “face” of the owl is sullen, and the look is prickly and piercing. To many people, the entire appearance of owls seems repulsive and unpleasant precisely because of its gloomy “physiognomy” and too close gaze inherent in the nature of these birds.
It was this external feature of the owls that caused the negative attitude of people in Russia to them. Until now, gloomy and gloomy people often say: "What are you frowning like an owl?"
Character and way of life
Owls are resident birds with nocturnal lifestyle. True, some of these birds may occasionally migrate for short distances, but in most cases the owl once and for all settles in a certain territory and never changes it. Like all other owls, they have excellent eyesight and hearing, which noticeably simplifies its movement through the night forest and facilitates the process of hunting. Owls can fly so quietly and carefully that their potential prey cannot always notice the predator approaching up to the last second, and then it is already too late to try to escape from them by running away.
It is interesting! Due to the fact that these birds cannot rotate their eyes, in order to see what is happening from the side, they have to constantly turn their heads. And she owl, due to the fact that he has a fairly flexible neck, can turn even 270 degrees.
These birds are especially active late at night and early in the morning, although there are among the owls and those that are active even during the daytime hours. They are very careful and do not allow a person to approach themselves. If it did happen, the owl, caught off guard, tries to scare away a possible enemy in a very interesting way: he begins to sway from side to side and is incongruous to bow. Outwardly, this semblance of dance looks very comical, only a few people have ever seen it.
If the owl, despite all his efforts, did not manage to intimidate the enemy with a dance and he did not think to retreat, he leaves his place and hovers low above the ground. Days these birds spend, resting in hollows of trees or in small crevices between rocks. Nests owls either build themselves, or occupy nests left by other birds, most often woodpeckers. As a rule, they do not change them throughout their lives, of course, if nothing happens, because of what the bird has to leave its habitable place and build a new nest.
In owls, it is weakly expressed: neither by the characteristics of the build, nor by the color of the plumage, the male cannot be distinguished from the female. Even the size of birds of different sexes is almost the same, although the female may be somewhat larger. That is why to understand which of them is who, sometimes it is possible only by the behavior of owls during the process of courtship and mating.
Currently, the genus of true owls includes three types:
- Brahmin owl.
- Little owl
- Rabbit owl.
However, before there existed much more birds belonging to this genus. But most of them died out in the Pleistocene. And species such as, for example, the Cretan and antiguan digging owls, became extinct after people colonized those parts of the earth's surface where these birds once lived.
Differs in small sizes: in length does not exceed 20-21 cm, and in weight - 120 g. The main color of the plumage is gray-brownish, diluted with white specks, the belly, on the contrary, white with small spots of the main color. Around the neck and on the bottom of the head there is a semblance of a white “collar”. The voice of the Brahmin owl resembles a series of loud gnashing cries. This bird lives in a vast area covering Southeast and South Asia, as well as Iran.
Somewhat larger than the previous species: its dimensions can be about 25 cm, and their weight can be up to 170 g. The color of the main tail is light brownish or sandy with white feathers.
It is interesting! This name owls got its name because its representatives often live in houses in the attic or in a barn. And due to the fact that the house owls are well tamed, they are often kept as decorative birds.
They live in the vast range, which includes Southern and Central Europe, the north of the African continent, and most of Asia (with the exception of North).
Owls have a vast habitat. These birds live in Europe, Asia, in the north of Africa, and also in the New World. At the same time, they feel comfortable both in open spaces and in forests, and even in mountainous areas, semi-deserts and deserts.
Living in South Asia, prefer to settle in light forests and open places, richly overgrown with shrubs. Often settles near human habitation: it can be found even in the suburbs of Delhi or Calcutta. Nests, usually in the hollows of trees, but it can also settle inside buildings or in cavities formed in the walls, for example, in the ruins of ancient temples and palaces. Also, these birds are not averse to settle in a strange nest, already abandoned by their owners, so often they settle in the nests of the Indian starlings-meins.
Which also name rabbit or cave owls, live in America, and, both in Northern, and in Southern. They prefer to settle in open areas with low vegetation. Nests are built in the holes of rabbits and other relatively large rodents, in which they rest and wait out the heat in the afternoon.
Diet of owls
Sychi, like other birds of prey, must hunt in order to obtain food.
They prefer to do this in pairs, moreover, they act surprisingly well-coordinated, which allows them to easily kill even large gray rats, which for one bird, who has taken it upon them to attack, can be not a joking danger. Alone, the owls hunt more harmless game: let's say, vole mice living under the ground in their burrows.
It is interesting! These birds, who have been engaged in underground hunting for voles for a long time, can be easily recognized at a glance: the feathers on the head and upper back are often found together, so that some representatives of this genus, instead of them, have only skeletons that look like needles from afar.
In general, depending on the species, the owl menu varies greatly: some of these birds prefer to hunt voles, others lure dung beetles into their nests and eat them with appetite, and some even hunt arachnids, such as phalanges. . They do not refuse from lizards, frogs, toads, various insects, earthworms and other birds smaller than themselves.
Not too relying on hunting luck, owls often stock up food "for a rainy day." Rabbit owls go even further: they bring pieces of manure from other animals into their holes, thereby luring back dung beetles, which they prefer to eat.
Reproduction and offspring
On the continuation of the species, the owls think about it even in winter, approximately in February: it is at this time that they begin to look for a mate for themselves. The males try to attract the attention of the females with shouts, and if they succeed, the courtship ritual begins, which includes treating the partner with prey, as well as mutual stroking and light tweaks with the beak.
After that, the birds build a nest and the female lays from two to five white eggs. She begins to hatch them immediately, as soon as she postpones the first - just like all birds of prey do. Therefore, it is not surprising that after a month, when the time of hatching of chicks comes, they all vary greatly in size and development. For this reason, until the time when the down is replaced by an adult plumage, 1–2 chicks live out of the whole brood of the owls, despite the fact that parents diligently take care of them.
It is interesting! While the female incubates the eggs, leaving them for a short time only once a day, the male takes care of her and future offspring: feeds her with his prey, substitutes her as a hen for the time of absence, and protects her girlfriend and the eggs from possible from other predators.
Already fledgling young birds live in the parental nest for about three weeks, learning the tricks of hunting and independent living during this time. Owls become sexually mature at about the age of a year; it is from this time that they can begin to look for a mate for themselves and build a nest for the future brood.
For owls that live near human habitation, domestic cats can be a danger, and in the tropics monkeys, also often settling near cities. Also, predatory and omnivorous birds, especially ravens, that can attack owls sitting on the branches of trees and slaughter them to death, can also be dangerous for them. Nestling owls nest in hollows are threatened by many species of snakes, which can easily crawl into the nesting area.
However, the greatest threat to the life of these birds are not vertebrate predators, but parasites, both external and internal. It is precisely their infection that is considered to be the main reason why so many sychats die, even without having time to rely on.
Population and species status
At present, owls - all three species belonging to the genus Athene are among the species with the least concern. Their population is quite numerous, and the distribution area is extensive in order to reasonably consider the owls to be birds that are certainly not threatened with extinction in the foreseeable future. Sychyi only at first glance seem like owls and owls. In fact, they are much smaller in size. Благодаря своей буровато-песочной окраске, эти птицы являются настоящими мастерами маскировки, так, что многие люди слышали, как кричат сычи, но мало кто может похвастать тем, что видел их.
Despite the fact that in most regions, for example, in Central Russia and India, they are considered heralds of misfortunes and misfortunes, in some places, for example, in Siberia, owls, on the contrary, are considered good patrons of travelers, who will not let the forest on the entangled animal paths and their shout will show the person the right path. In any case, this bird, living close to human habitation, deserves respect and the closest attention. And it’s not for nothing that in 1992 the owl was captured in the form of a watermark on a bill of 100 guilders.