we would like to give you some more information on owls so read the following text .
The Physiology of Owls Food and Hunting
Owl Food: What do Owls eat? Owls are Birds of Prey, which means that they must kill other animals to survive. Their diet includes invertebrates (such as insects, spiders, earthworms, snails and crabs), fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and small mammals.
The main food largely depends on the species of Owl. For example, Scops and Screech Owls feed on insects mostly, while Barn Owls <http://owlpages.com/species/tyto/alba/Default.htm> eat mainly mice, shrews and voles. Larger Owls such as the Eagle Owl <http://owlpages.com/species/bubo/bubo/Default.htm> will prey upon hares, young foxes and birds up to the size of ducks and gamebirds. Some species have specialised in fishing, such as the Asian Fish Owls (Ketupa) and African Fishing Owls (Scotopelia). Although certain species have these preferences for food type, most owls are opportunistic, and will take whatever prey is available in the area.
Hunting: How do owls catch their food?: Owls generally have a hunting territory away from their daytime roost.All Owls are equipped with special adaptations that make them efficient predators. Keen eyesight <http://owlpages.com/physiology/vision.html> allows them locate quarry even on dim nights. Sensitive, directional hearing <http://owlpages.com/physiology/hearing.html> helps locate concealed prey. Some species can even hunt in complete darkness using sound alone to guide them to a successful kill. An Owl's flight is silenced by special wing feathers <http://owlpages.com/physiology/feathers.html>, that muffle the sound of the air rushing over the surface of the wing. This allows an Owl to hunt by stealth, taking their victims by surprise. It also allows the Owl to listen for prey movements while still flying.
Most species hunt from a perch, such as a low branch, stump or fence post. They will wait for prey to appear, and swoop down with open wings, and their talons stretched forward. Some species will fly or glide a little way from the perch before dropping on the victim. In some cases, the Owl may simply drop on the target, opening their wings at the last moment.
Other species prefer to soar, or make quartering flights, scanning the ground below for a suitable meal. When a target is located, the Owl will fly towards it, keeping its head in line with it until the last moment. This is when the Owl pulls its head back, and thrusts its feet forward with the talons spread wide - two pointing backwards and two forwards. The force of the impact is usually enough to stun the prey, which is then dispatched with a snap of the beak.
Owls can adapt their hunting techniques depending on the type of prey. Insects and small birds may be snatched in mid air, sometimes after being flushed from the cover of trees or bushes by the Owl. Owls that catch fish may skim over water, snatching fish on the fly (Pel's Fishing Owl) or, the may perch at the water's edge, grabbing any fish or crayfish that surfaces nearby (Blakiston's Fish Owl). Other species may wade into the water to chase fish, water snakes, crayfish or frogs.
Once caught, smaller prey is carried away in the bill, or eaten immediately. Larger prey is carried off in the talons.
In times of plenty, Owls may store surplus food in a cache. This may be in the nest, or tree hole, or a fork in a branch.
The Physiology of Owls General Overview & Diagram
Classification: Owls are a group of mainly nocturnal (active at night) birds classified as belonging to the order Strigiformes, a group which is most closely related to nightjars (Caprimulgiformes). The order is divided into two families: Tytonidae or Barn Owls and related species, of which there are up to 18 species known, and Strigidae, to which the remaining 194+ Owl species belong.Click Here <http://owlpages.com/species/Default.htm> to see a full list of the World's Owls.
Appearance: A large, round head and huge, forward-facing eyes <http://owlpages.com/physiology/vision.html> are features that make an Owl instantly recognisable. They also have a sharp, downward-facing beak <http://owlpages.com/physiology/beak.html> (or bill), and soft, cryptically coloured plumage <http://owlpages.com/physiology/feathers.html>. Males and Females are generally similar in appearance, although the female is often up to 25% larger.
Adaptations: Owls are Raptors, or Birds of Prey, which means they hunt <http://owlpages.com/physiology/food.html> other living things for their food <http://owlpages.com/physiology/food.html>, using their special adaptations and unique abilities that set them apart from any other creature.Exceptional vision <http://owlpages.com/physiology/vision.html>, and acute hearing <http://owlpages.com/physiology/hearing.html> play a major part in an Owl's hunting <http://owlpages.com/physiology/food.html> technique. Couple these with powerful talons <http://owlpages.com/physiology/talons.html> and beak <http://owlpages.com/physiology/beak.html>, plus the ability to fly silently <http://owlpages.com/physiology/feathers.html>, and you have a formidable predator, using stealth to hunt down prey.
After Eating, Owls regurgitate pellets <http://owlpages.com/physiology/digestion.html>, which contain the indigestible bones, fur and feathers of their victims. These pellets can be collected by researchers to study Owls' eating habits.
Distribution: Owls are found on all continents except Antarctica, and in a great variety of habitats, from thick forests to open prairies.
Size: The smallest owl in the world is the "Least Pygmy Owl" (Glaucidium minutissimum) at 12cm (4½") tall, and the biggest owl in the world is the "Great Gray Owl <http://owlpages.com/species/strix/nebulosa/Default.htm>" (Strix nebulosa) at up to 84cm (33") tall.
Parts of an Owl