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Duration:03:50
Uploaded:2016-09-29
Last sync:2018-04-26 23:00
Who-who-who is quick, adorable and one of the best hunters in the whole bird family? Join Jessi and Squeaks to learn some amazing facts about owls!

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SOURCES:

http://www.audubon.org/news/11-fun-facts-about-owls
http://nationalgeographic.org/media/birds-eye-view-wbt/
http://nationalgeographic.org/media/birds-eye-view-wbt/
http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2013/02/06/how-owls-twist-their-heads-almost-360-degrees/
https://nerdfighteria.info/video/66/CsgQIQ0xPWQ/1
https://nerdfighteria.info/video/51/oWQ6KSBwRoM/1

IMAGES:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AWaldohreule_photographed_by_Dominic-Schulz.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ASpotted_owlet_(Athene_brama.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ABarn_Owl_flying.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ARaufu%C3%9Fkauz_im_Flug.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AGreat-horned-owl-10.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ABarred_2010_3_web.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AIndian_Owl_hunting_at_night.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Face_of_long_ear_owl.JPG#/media/File:Face_of_long_ear_owl.JPG
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ear_of_Long-eared_Owl.jpg#/media/File:Ear_of_Long-eared_Owl.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2877208
(Intro)

[Hooting] Oh, Squeaks! Do you hear that? Hoo, hoo, who do you think could be up there? I think it's an owl. I love watching all kinds of birds, but owls are some of my favorites. They're quick, they're adorable, and they're some of the best hunters in the whole bird family. And, there are lots of different kinds of owls, about two hundred species. They range in size from the tiny little Elf Owl, which is only about thirteen centimeters tall, that's about as big as my hand, to the Great Grey Owl, which can be about a meter tall, that's about as big as a two year old kid. 

Their sizes may be different, but all owls have a few things in common, like the food they eat. Depending on its size, an owl might eat frogs, mice, birds, rabbits, insects, or other animals. But, the point is, an owl's food is on the move, so these birds have special features that help them find and eat their prey. For example, when you look at an owl, what's the first thing you notice? Maybe their big, round eyes?

Owls have two eyes that face forward, just like ours do. Some other kinds of animals, like fish, chickens, and deer, have eyes on the sides of their head. This lets those animals see what's going on all around them at the same time. But, owl's eyes, like ours, focus only on what's in front of them. That's pretty handy if you want to swoop down and catch some food that's on the move. 

Owls usually hunt at night, so their eyes have to take in a lot of light to help them see in the dark. That's why owls have such huge eyes, but, unlike you and me, owls can't move there eyes. Our eyes are, well, balls; they're eyeballs, and you can move them around in your head, like this. We can look left, and right, and you might even be able to roll your eyes, but owls can't do any of that. That's because owl eyes are not balls. They're shaped like tubes, and they're held in place by bones. 

So, owls can't roll them around to look at things. Instead, they have special necks that allow them to turn their heads almost, but not quite, all the way around. Can you do that? I can't. So, how do owls do it? The secret is in the bones in their neck. These are called vertebrae, and owls have more vertebrae in their necks than we do. Owls have fourteen of these bones while people only have seven. These extra bones let an owl swing its head almost all the way around, which is very useful since it can't just move its eyes when it wants to look at something.

But, what about when an owl can't see its prey, like when a little mouse is in a tunnel under the snow or if a toad is hiding under a pile of leaves? How would an owl find its lunch then? No big deal. If an owl can't see its prey, it can just listen for it. That's because owls have a super sense of hearing. Now, we can't see an owl's ears from the outside. Those things that look like ears, on say a Great Horned Owl, those are just feathers, but the feathers all around an owl's face are really useful. They help channel sounds into the ears which helps them to pick up on even the very quietest of sounds. So, by using its super sense of hearing, its big eyes, and its flexible neck an owl can find and catch a hidden prey.

Do you have a favorite bird? What do you like about it the most? Let us know, and if you have any questions about birds or bugs or anything at all, just grab a grownup and let us know in the comments below or send us an email to kids@thescishow.com, and we'll see you next time.