Thanks to movies and books, owls are once again 'fresh' in the mind of young people, and it's a good time for me to start learning more about them.
They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and usually a circle of feathers around each eye called 'facial disc'. Although owls have binocular vision, their large eyes are fixed in their sockets, as with other birds, and they must turn their entire head to change views.
The smallest owl (as far as I could find out) is the Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi), as little as 31 g (1.1 oz) and 13.5 cm (5.3 inches). The largest owls are the two of the eagle owls, the Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) and Blakiston's Fish Owl (Bubo blakistoni), which could reach 60-71 cm (28.4 in) long, have a wingspan of almost 2 m (6.6 ft), and weigh of nearly 4.5 kg (10 lb).
Owls are far-sighted, and are unable to clearly see anything within a few inches of their eyes. Their far vision, particularly in low light, is exceptionally good, and they can turn their head 135 degrees in either direction; they can thus look behind their own shoulders. It is correct, however, that some can turn the head so far as to face completely backwards.
Different species of owls make different sounds; the wide range of calls aids owl species in finding mates or announcing their presence to potential competitors. The facial disc helps to funnel the sound of prey to their ears.
Owl eggs are usually white and almost spherical, and range in number from a few to a dozen, depending on species. The eggs are laid in intervals of 1–3 days and do not hatch at the same time. This accounts for the wide variation in the size of sibling nestlings. Owls do not construct nests but rather look for a sheltered nesting site, in trees, underground burrows, or in buildings, barns and caves.I decided to find out more about how owls had influenced our culture and on my quest I found many different representations of them in arts, ancient artifacts, iconography, etc, but what caught my attention were the coins and paper money that I found, from ancient Greek coins to modern Euro coins and US dollar notes.
So, here's a small selection of what I found, hope you like it! And let's see if you can identify a species or two!