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Owls
The rare Northern Spotted OwlStrix occidentalis caurina
The rare Northern Spotted Owl
Strix occidentalis caurina
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Neornithes
Infraclass: Neognathae
Superorder: Neoaves
Order: Strigiformes
Wagler, 1830
Families

Strigidae
Tytonidae
Ogygoptyngidae (fossil)
Palaeoglaucidae (fossil)
Protostrigidae (fossil)
Sophiornithidae (fossil) Owl is the name of any one of about 220 species of mainly nocturnal birds of prey. ... File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Trinomial name Strix occidentalis caurina The Northern Spotted Owl, Strix occidentalis caurina, is one of three Spotted Owl subspecies. ... Scientific classification redirects here. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Typical Classes Subphylum Urochordata - Tunicates Ascidiacea Thaliacea Larvacea Subphylum Cephalochordata - Lancelets Subphylum Myxini - Hagfishes Subphylum Vertebrata - Vertebrates Petromyzontida - Lampreys Placodermi (extinct) Chondrichthyes - Cartilaginous fishes Acanthodii (extinct) Actinopterygii - Ray-finned fishes Actinistia - Coelacanths Dipnoi - Lungfishes Amphibia - Amphibians Reptilia - Reptiles Aves - Birds Mammalia - Mammals Chordates (phylum Chordata) include the vertebrates, together with... For other meanings of bird, see bird (disambiguation). ... Orders Many - see section below. ... Orders Anseriformes, waterfowl Galliformes, fowl Gaviiformes, loons Podicipediformes, grebes Procellariiformes, albatrosses, petrels, and allies Sphenisciformes, penguins Pelecaniformes, pelicans and allies Ciconiiformes, storks and allies Phoenicopteriformes, flamingos Accipitriformes, eagles, hawks and allies Falconiformes, falcons Turniciformes, button-quail Gruiformes, cranes and allies Charadriiformes, plovers and allies Pteroclidiformes, sandgrouse Columbiformes, doves and pigeons... Johann Georg Wagler (1800 - 1832) was a German herpetologist. ... Genera Aegolius: saw-whet owls Asio: eared owls Athene Bubo: horned owls Ciccaba Glaucidium: pygmy owls Jubula Ketupa Lophostrix Micrathene: elf owls Mimizuku Nesasio Ninox Otus: scops owls Pseudoscops Pulsatrix Pyrroglaux: palau owls Sceloglaux Scotopelia Speotyto Strix: earless owls Surnia: hawk owls Uroglaux Xenoglaux Typical owls (family Strigidae) are one... Genera Tyto Phodilus Barn owls (family Tytonidae) are one of the two generally accepted families of owls, the other being the typical owls, Strigidae. ... For other uses, see Fossil (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Fossil (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Fossil (disambiguation). ... Genera Sophiornis Strigogyps The sophiornithids (literally Wisdom Birds), Sophiornithidae, were a family of predatory birds that lived from the Paleocene to the Eocene periods of the Cenozoic. ... For other uses, see Fossil (disambiguation). ...

Synonyms

Strigidae sensu Sibley & Ahlquist In scientific nomenclature, synonyms are different scientific names used for a single taxon. ...

Owls are an order of birds of prey. Most are solitary, and nocturnal, with some exceptions (e.g. the Burrowing Owl). They are classified in the order Strigiformes, in which there are over 200 extant species. Owls mostly hunt small mammals, insects, and other birds, though a few species specialize in hunting fish. They are found in all regions of the Earth except Antarctica, most of Greenland, and some remote islands. Though owls are typically solitary, the literary collective noun for a group of owls is a parliament. In scientific classification used in biology, the order (Latin: ordo, plural ordines) is a rank between class and family (termed a taxon at that rank). ... Orders Accipitriformes     Cathartidae     Pandionidae     Accipitridae     Sagittariidae Falconiformes     Falconidae A bird of prey or raptor is a bird that hunts its food, especially one that preys on mammals or other birds. ... Look up Solitary in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A bat illustrating nocturnal features. ... Binomial name (Molina, 1782) Subspecies About 20 living, see text Synonyms Strix cunicularia Molina, 1782 Speotyto cunicularia Spheotyto cunicularia (lapsus) The Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) is a small, long-legged owl found throughout open landscapes of North and South America. ... For other uses, see Species (disambiguation). ... Subclasses & Infraclasses Subclass †Allotheria* Subclass Prototheria Subclass Theria Infraclass †Trituberculata Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria For the folk-rock band see The Mammals. ... Orders Subclass Apterygota Archaeognatha (bristletails) Thysanura (silverfish) Subclass Pterygota Infraclass Paleoptera (Probably paraphyletic) Ephemeroptera (mayflies) Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) Infraclass Neoptera Superorder Exopterygota Grylloblattodea (ice-crawlers) Mantophasmatodea (gladiators) Plecoptera (stoneflies) Embioptera (webspinners) Zoraptera (angel insects) Dermaptera (earwigs) Orthoptera (grasshoppers, etc) Phasmatodea (stick insects) Blattodea (cockroaches) Isoptera (termites) Mantodea (mantids) Psocoptera... For other uses, see Bird (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... In linguistics, a collective noun is a word used to define a group of objects, where objects can be people, animals, inanimate things, concepts, or other things. ...


The living owls are divided into two families, the typical owls, Strigidae, and the barn-owls, Tytonidae. The hierarchy of scientific classification In biological classification, family (Latin: familia, plural familiae) is a rank, or a taxon in that rank. ... Genera Aegolius: saw-whet owls Asio: eared owls Athene Bubo: horned owls Ciccaba Glaucidium: pygmy owls Jubula Lophostrix Micrathene: elf owls Mimizuku Nesasio Ninox Otus: scops owls Pseudoscops Pulsatrix Pyrroglaux: palau owls Sceloglaux Scotopelia Speotyto Strix: earless owls Surnia: hawk owls Uroglaux Xenoglaux Typical owls (family Strigidae) are one of... Genera Tyto Phodilus Barn owls (family Tytonidae) are one of the two generally accepted families of owls, the other being the typical owls, Strigidae. ...

Contents

Description

Eagle Owl
Eagle Owl

Owls have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and usually a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a 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. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (3888 × 2592 pixel, file size: 5. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (3888 × 2592 pixel, file size: 5. ... For other uses, see Hawk (disambiguation). ... The beak, bill or rostrum is an external anatomical structure of birds which, in addition to eating, is used for grooming, manipulating objects, killing prey, probing for food, courtship, and feeding their young. ... Binocular vision is vision in which both eyes are used synchronously to produce a single image. ...


The smallest owl is the Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi), at as little as 31 g (1.1 oz) and 13.5 cm (5.3 inches). Some of the pygmy owls are scarcely larger. The largest owls are the two of the eagle owls, the Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) and Blakiston's Fish Owl (Bubo blakistoni), which may reach a size of 60-71 cm (28.4 in) long, have a wingspan of almost 2 m (6.6 ft), and a weight of nearly 4.5 kg (10 lb). Binomial name (Cooper, 1861) The Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi) is a member of the owl family Strigidae that breeds in the southwestern United States and Mexico. ... Species See text. ... Species 17, see text The horned owls are a genus (Bubo) of 17 species of typical owls which are found in many parts of the world. ... Binomial name Bubo bubo (Linnaeus, 1758) The Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) is a species of horned owl resident in much of Europe and Asia. ... Binomial name Bubo blakistoni (Seebohm, 1884) The Blakistons Fish Owl, Bubo blakistoni, is an owl. ...


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, and ornithologists and birders in locating these birds and recognizing species. The facial disc helps to funnel the sound of prey to their ears. In many species, these are placed asymmetrically, for better directional location (Norberg, 1977). Ornithology (from the Greek ornitha = chicken and logos = word/science) is the branch of biology concerned with the scientific study of birds. ... Birding or birdwatching is a hobby concerned with the observation and study of birds (the study proper is termed American origin; birdwatching is (or more correctly, was) the commonly-used word in Great Britain and Ireland and by non-birders in the United States. ...


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.


Behavior

Most owls are nocturnal, actively hunting for prey only under the cover of darkness. Several types of owl, however, are crepuscular, or active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk; one example is the pygmy owl (Glaucidium). A few owls are also active during the day; examples are the Burrowing Owl (Speotyto cunicularia) and the Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus). Dawn in Peng Chau, Hong Kong. ... Dusk in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, USA. Dusk outside a plane on cruise. ... Species See text. ... Binomial name (Molina, 1782) Subspecies About 20 living, see text Synonyms Strix cunicularia Molina, 1782 Speotyto cunicularia Spheotyto cunicularia (lapsus) The Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) is a small, long-legged owl found throughout open landscapes of North and South America. ... Binomial name Asio flammeus (Pontoppidan, 1763) The Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) is a species of typical owl (family Strigidae). ...

Serrations on the leading edge of an owl's flight feathers reduce noise
Serrations on the leading edge of an owl's flight feathers reduce noise

Much of the owl's hunting strategy depends on stealth and surprise. Owls have at least two adaptations that aid them in achieving stealth. First, the dull coloration of an owl's feathers can render them almost invisible under certain conditions. Secondly, serrated edges on the leading edge of the owl's remiges muffle the owl's wingbeats, allowing its flight to be practically silent. Some fish-eating owls, where this silence is of no evolutionary advantage, lack this adaptation. Elf owls also lack the feathers for silent flying. Remiges are a birds flight feathers which are attached to the rear portion of the wing bones. ...


Once prey has been captured, the owl's sharp beak and powerful talons, or clawed feet allow it to tear the food to pieces before eating, even though most items are swallowed whole. Scientists studying the diets of owls are helped by their habit of regurgitating the indigestible parts of their prey (such as bones, scales and fur) in the form of pellets. These "owl pellets" are often sold by companies to schools to be dissected by students as a lesson in biology and ecology, because they are plentiful and easy to interpret.[citation needed] Cat claw A claw is a curved pointed appendage, found at the end of a toe or finger or, in arthropods, of the tarsus. ... Regurgitation is the controlled flow of stomach contents back into the oesophagus and mouth. ... A pellet, in ornithology, is the mass of undigested parts of a birds food that some bird species occasionally regurgitate. ...


Evolution and systematics

The systematic placement of owls is disputed. For example, the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy finds that, based on DNA-DNA hybridization, owls are more closely related to the nightjars and their allies (Caprimulgiformes) than to the diurnal predators in the order Falconiformes; consequently, the Caprimulgiformes are placed in the Strigiformes and the owls in general become a family Strigidae. This is not supported by more recent research.[1] In any case, the relationships of the Caprimulgiformes, the owls, the falcons and the accipitrid raptors are not resolved to satisfaction; currently there is an increasing trend to consider each group (with the possible exception of the accipitrids) a distinct order. Biological systematics is the study of the diversity of life on the planet earth, both past and present, and the relationships among living things through time. ... The Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy is a radical bird taxonomy based on DNA-DNA hybridization studies conducted in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. ... DNA-DNA hybridization is a method in genetics to measure the degree of genetic similarity between DNA sequences. ... “Goatsucker” redirects here. ... Families Accipitridae Pandionidae Falconidae Sagittariidae The order Falconiformes is a group of about 290 species of birds that include the diurnal birds of prey. ... The hierarchy of scientific classification In biological classification, family (Latin: familia, plural familiae) is a rank, or a taxon in that rank. ... For other uses, see Falcon (disambiguation). ... Subfamilies Elaninae Perninae Milvinae Accipitrinae Buteoninae Aegypiinae Circinae Circaetinae The Accipitridae is one of the two main families within the order Falconiformes (the diurnal birds of prey). ...


There are some 220–225 extant species of owls, which are subdivided into two families; typical owls (Strigidae) and barn-owls (Tytonidae). Some entirely extinct families have also been erected based on fossil remains; these differ much from modern owls in being less specialized or specialized in a very different way (such as the terrestrial Sophiornithidae). The Paleocene genera Berruornis and Ogygoptynx show that owls were present as a distinct lineage some 60-58 mya (million years ago) already, and presumably also some 5 million years earlier at the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs. This makes them one of the oldest known groups of non-Galloanserae landbirds. The supposed "Cretaceous owls" Bradycneme and Heptasteornis are apparently non-avialan maniraptors.[2] Genera Aegolius: saw-whet owls Asio: eared owls Athene Bubo: horned owls Ciccaba Glaucidium: pygmy owls Jubula Ketupa Lophostrix Micrathene: elf owls Mimizuku Nesasio Ninox Otus: scops owls Pseudoscops Pulsatrix Pyrroglaux: palau owls Sceloglaux Scotopelia Speotyto Strix: earless owls Surnia: hawk owls Uroglaux Xenoglaux Typical owls (family Strigidae) are one... Genera Tyto Phodilus Barn owls (family Tytonidae) are one of the two generally accepted families of owls, the other being the typical owls, Strigidae. ... For other uses, see Fossil (disambiguation). ... Genera Sophiornis Strigogyps The sophiornithids (literally Wisdom Birds), Sophiornithidae, were a family of predatory birds that lived from the Paleocene to the Eocene periods of the Cenozoic. ... The Paleocene, early dawn of the recent, is a geologic epoch that lasted from 65. ... Mega-annum, usually abbreviated as Ma, is a unit of time equal to one million years. ... Orders & Suborders Saurischia Sauropodomorpha Theropoda Ornithischia Thyreophora Ornithopoda Marginocephalia Dinosaurs were vertebrate animals that dominated the terrestrial ecosystem for over 160 million years, first appearing approximately 230 million years ago. ... Orders Galliformes Anseriformes Fowl is a term for certain birds often used as food by humans. ... // The Cretaceous Period (pronounced ) is one of the major divisions of the geologic timescale, reaching from the end of the Jurassic Period (i. ... Elopteryx (small wing) was a theropod dinosaur from Late Cretaceous Romania. ... Binomial name Heptasteornis andrewsi Harrison & Walker, 1975 Heptasteornis is the name given to a dubious genus of small dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous. ... Subgroups Alvarezsauria Aves Deinonychosauria Oviraptorosauria Therizinosauria Maniraptora is a group used in biological classification to cover the birds and the dinosaurs that were related to them. ...


During the Paleogene, the Strigiformes radiated into ecological niches now mostly filled by other groups of birds. The owls as we know them today, on the other hand, evolved their characteristic morphology and adaptations during that time too. By the early Neogene, the other lineages had been displaced by other bird orders, leaving only barn-owls and typical owls. The latter at that time were usually a fairly generic type of (probably earless) owl similar to today's North American Spotted Owl or the European Tawny Owl; the diversity in size and ecology found in typical owls today developed only subsequently. Paleogene (alternatively Palaeogene) period is a unit of geologic time that began 65 and ended 23 million years ago. ... Four of the 13 finch species found on the Galápagos Archipelago, and thought to have evolved by an adaptive radiation that diversified their beak shapes to adapt them to different food sources. ... Two lichens on a rock, in two different ecological niches In ecology, a niche; (pronounced nich, neesh or nish)[1] is a term describing the relational position of a species or population in its ecosystem[1]. The ecological niche; describes how an organism or population responds to the distribution of... The term morphology in biology refers to the outward appearance (shape, structure, colour, pattern) of an organism or taxon and its component parts. ... For other uses, see Adaptation (disambiguation). ... Neogene Period is a unit of geologic time consisting of the Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, and Holocene epochs. ... Binomial name Xantus de Vesey, 1860 The Spotted Owl, Strix occidentalis, is a species of owl. ... Binomial name Strix aluco Linnaeus, 1758 The Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) is a species of owl resident in much of Europe and southern Russia. ... For the journal, see Ecology (journal). ...


Around the Paleogene-Neogene boundary (some 25 mya), barn-owls were the dominant group of owls in southern Europe and adjacent Asia at least; the distribution of fossil and present-day owl lineages indicates that their decline is contemporary with the evolution of the different major lineages of typical owls, which for the most part seems to have taken place in Eurasia. In the Americas, there was rather an expansion of immigrant lineages of ancestral typical owls.


The supposed fossil herons "Ardea" perplexa (Middle Miocene of Sansan, France) and "Ardea" lignitum (Late Pliocene of Germany) were more probably owls; the latter was apparently close to the modern genus Bubo. Judging from this, the Late Miocene remains from France described as "Ardea" aureliensis should also be restudied.[3] The Messelasturidae, some of which were initially believed to be basal Strigiformes, are now generally accepted to be diurnal birds of prey showing some convergent evolution towards owls. The taxa often united under Strigogyps[4] were formerly placed in part with the owls, specifically the Sophiornithidae; they appear to be Ameghinornithidae instead.[5] For other uses, see Heron (disambiguation). ... Species 17, see text The horned owls are a genus (Bubo) of 17 species of typical owls which are found in many parts of the world. ... In phylogenetics, basal members of a group diverged earlier than a subgroup of others (or vice versa). ... If you are looking for other meanings of the term, refer to Bird of prey (disambiguation). ... In evolutionary biology, convergent evolution is the process whereby organisms not closely related, independently evolve similar traits as a result of having to adapt to similar environments or ecological niches. ... Binomial name Strigogyps sapea (D. S. Peters, 1987) Synonyms Aenigmavis sapea D. S. Peters, 1987 Strigogyps sapea (Thinking Owl Vulture) is a species of prehistoric bird. ...


For fossil species and paleosubspecies of extant taxa, see the genus and species articles. A chronospecies is a species which changes physically, morphologically, genetically, and/or behaviorally over time on an evolutionary scale such that the originating species and the species it becomes could not be classified as the same species had they existed at the same point in time. ... A taxon (plural taxa) is an element of a taxonomy, e. ...


Unresolved and basal forms (all fossil)

  • Berruornis (Late Paleocene of France) - basal? Sophornithidae?
  • Strigiformes gen. et ap. indet. (Late Paleocene of Zhylga, Kazakhstan)
  • Palaeoglaux (Middle – Late Eocene of WC Europe) - own family Palaeoglaucidae or Strigidae?
  • Palaeobyas (Late Eocene/Early Oligocene of Quercy, France) - Tytonidae? Sophiornithidae?
  • Palaeotyto (Late Eocene/Early Oligocene of Quercy, France) - Tytonidae? Sophiornithidae?
  • Strigiformes gen. et spp. indet. (Early Oligocene of Wyoming, USA)[6]

Ogygoptyngidae

  • Ogygoptynx (Middle/Late Paleocene of Colorado, USA)

Protostrigidae

  • Eostrix (Early Eocene of WC USA and England - Middle Eocene of WC USA)
  • Minerva (Middle – Late Eocene of W USA) - formerly Protostrix, includes "Aquila" ferox, "Aquila" lydekkeri, and "Bubo" leptosteus
  • Oligostrix (mid-Oligocene of Saxony, Germany)

Sophiornithidae

  • Sophiornis

Genera Sophiornis Strigogyps The sophiornithids (literally Wisdom Birds), Sophiornithidae, were a family of predatory birds that lived from the Paleocene to the Eocene periods of the Cenozoic. ...

Strigidae: Typical owls

A Long-eared Owl, Asio otus, in erect pose.
  • Megascops: screech-owls, some 20 species
  • Otus: scops-owls; probably paraphyletic, about 45 species
  • Pyrroglaux: Palau Owl
  • Gymnoglaux: Bare-legged Owl or Cuban Screech-owl
  • Ptilopsis: white-faced owls, two species
  • Mimizuku: Giant Scops-owl or Mindanao Eagle-owl
  • Bubo: horned owls, eagle-owls and fish-owls; paraphyletic with Nyctea, Ketupa and Scotopelia, some 25 species
  • Strix: earless owls, some 15 species
  • Ciccaba: four species
  • Lophostrix: Crested Owl
  • Jubula: Maned Owl
  • Pulsatrix: spectacled owls, three species
  • Surnia: Northern Hawk-owl
  • Glaucidium: pygmy-owls, about 30–35 species
  • Xenoglaux: Long-whiskered Owlet
  • Micrathene: Elf Owl
  • Athene: 2–4 species (depending on whether Speotyto and Heteroglaux are included or not)
  • Aegolius: saw-whet owls, four species
  • Ninox: Australasian hawk-owls, some 20 species
  • Uroglaux: Papuan Hawk-owl
  • Pseudoscops: Jamaican Owl and possibly Striped Owl
  • Asio: eared owls, 6–7 species
  • Nesasio - Fearful Owl
  • Mascarenotus: Mascarene owls, three species; extinct (c.1850)
  • Sceloglaux: Laughing Owl; extinct (1914?)
  • Grallistrix: stilt-owls, four species; prehistoric
  • Ornimegalonyx: Caribbean giant owls, 1–2 species; prehistoric

Fossil genera Genera Aegolius: saw-whet owls Asio: eared owls Athene Bubo: horned owls Ciccaba Glaucidium: pygmy owls Jubula Ketupa Lophostrix Micrathene: elf owls Mimizuku Nesasio Ninox Otus: scops owls Pseudoscops Pulsatrix Pyrroglaux: palau owls Sceloglaux Scotopelia Speotyto Strix: earless owls Surnia: hawk owls Uroglaux Xenoglaux Typical owls (family Strigidae) are one... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (909x2185, 461 KB) Asio otus (the image uses the wrong latin name) in German: Waldohreule March 2005 de:Kölner Zoo, Cologne Photo taken by user de:Benutzer:BS Thurner Hof File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (909x2185, 461 KB) Asio otus (the image uses the wrong latin name) in German: Waldohreule March 2005 de:Kölner Zoo, Cologne Photo taken by user de:Benutzer:BS Thurner Hof File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) Synonyms Asio wilsonianus The Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) is a species of owl which breeds in Europe, Asia, and North America. ... Species many, see species list The scops owls, known as screech owls in the Americas are small owls in the genus Otus of the typical owl family Strigidae. ... Paraphyletic - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Binomial name Synonyms Otus podarginus The Palau Owl (Pyrroglaux podarginus) is a species of owl in the Strigidae family. ... Binomial name P.L.Sclater & Salvin, 1868 Synonyms Otus lawrencii (P.L.Sclater & Salvin, 1868) The Bare-legged Owl (Gymnoglaux lawrencii) is a species of owl in the Strigidae family. ... species Ptilopsis is a genus of African owls. ... Binomial name (Tweeddale, 1879) The Giant Scops-owl or Mindanao Eagle-owl (Mimizuku gurneyi) is a species of owl in the Strigidae family. ... Species 17, see text The horned owls are a genus (Bubo) of 17 species of typical owls which are found in many parts of the world. ... Species 15, see text. ... Species Ciccaba albitarsis Ciccaba huhula Ciccaba nigrolineata Ciccaba virgata Ciccaba is a small genus of typical owls. ... Binomial name (Daudin, 1800) The Crested Owl (Lophostrix cristata) is a species of owl in the Strigidae family. ... Binomial name (Büttikofer, 1889) The Maned Owl (Jubula lettii) is a species of owl in the Strigidae family. ... Pulsatrix is a genus of owl in the Strigidae family. ... Binomial name Surnia ulula (Linnaeus, 1758) The Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula) is a medium sized owl. ... Species Some 30-35, see text. ... Binomial name Xenoglaux loweryi (ONeill & Graves,GR, 1977) The Long-whiskered Owl is a tiny owl that lives strictly in a limited range in the Andes mountains in northern Peru. ... Binomial name Micrathene whitneyi (Cooper, 1861) The Elf Owl (Micrathene whitneyi) is a member of the owl family Strigidae that breeds in the southwestern United States and Mexico. ... Species Athene blewitti Athene brama Athene cunicularia Athene noctua The Athene genus contains four small owls; Burrowing Owl, Athene cunicularia Spotted Owlet, Athene brama Forest Owlet, Athene blewitti Little Owl, Athene noctua These owls are small, brown and white speckled owls, with yellow eyes and white eyebrows. ... Species Aegolius is a small genus of owls. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Binomial name Uroglaux dimorpha (Salvadori, 1874) The Papuan Hawk Owl, Uroglaux dimorpha is a medium-sized, sleek owl with a porportionately small head, long tail, and short, rounded wings. ... Binomial name Pseudoscops grammicus (Gosse, 1847) The Jamaican Owl (Pseudoscops grammicus) is a medium-sized tawny colored owl. ... Binomial name Pseudoscops clamator (Vieillot, 1807) The Striped Owl, Asio clamator is a medium-sized owl with large ear tufts and a brownish-white facial disk rimmed with black. ... ASIO is an acronym for: The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Audio stream input output, a protocol for low-latency digital audio specified by Steinberg See also Asio (disambiguation) This page about a 4-letter acronym or initialism is a disambiguation page—a list of articles associated with the same title. ... Binomial name Nesasio solomonensis (Hartert, 1901) The Fearful Owl, Nesasio solomonensis is a medium-sized owl endemic to the Solomon Islands. ... Species Mascarenotus grucheti Mascarenotus murivorus Mascarenotus sauzieri The Mascarene owls form a distinct genus (Mascarenotus) of owls. ... In biology and ecology, extinction is the ceasing of existence of a species or group of species. ... // Binomial name Sceloglaux albifacies (Gray GR, 1845) Subspecies (South Island Laughing Owl) (North Island Laughing Owl) The Laughing Owl (Sceloglaux albifacies), Whekau or White-faced Owl, was an endemic owl found in New Zealand, but is now extinct. ... In biology and ecology, extinction is the ceasing of existence of a species or group of species. ... Grallistrix is an order of extinct owls. ... Prehistoric birds are various taxa of birds that became extinct before recorded history, or more precisely, before they could be studied alive by bird scientists. ... Binomial name Ornimegalonyx oteroi Arredondo, 1954 The Cuban Giant Owl or Giant Cursorial Owl (Ornimegalonyx oteroi) is a giant, extinct species of owl, their closest extant cousins being the wood owls[[cn}}. It is believed to be the largest owl that ever existed. ... Prehistoric birds are various taxa of birds that became extinct before recorded history, or more precisely, before they could be studied alive by bird scientists. ...

  • Mioglaux (Late Oligocene? - Early Miocene of WC Europe) - includes "Bubo" poirreiri
  • "Otus/Strix" wintershofensis: fossil (Early/Middle Miocene of Wintershof West, Germany) - may be close to extant genus Ninox[6]
  • Intutula (Early/Middle –? Late Miocene of C Europe) - includes "Strix/Ninox" brevis
  • Alasio (Middle Miocene of Vieux-Collonges, France) - includes "Strix" collongensis

Placement unresolved For other uses, see Fossil (disambiguation). ...

Masked Owl, Tyto novaehollandiae.
Masked Owl, Tyto novaehollandiae.
  • "Strix" edwardsi: fossil (Middle Miocene)
  • "Asio" pygmaeus: fossil (Early Pliocene of Odessa, Ukraine)
  • Ibiza Owl, Strigidae gen. et sp. indet.: prehistoric[7]

Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 449 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1250 × 1667 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 449 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1250 × 1667 pixel, file size: 1. ... Binomial name Tyto novaehollandiae (Stephens, 1826) The Australian Masked Owl (Tyto novaehollandiae) is a barn owl of Southern New Guinea and the non-desert areas of Australia. ... For other uses, see Fossil (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Fossil (disambiguation). ... Prehistoric birds are various taxa of birds that became extinct before recorded history, or more precisely, before they could be studied alive by bird scientists. ...

Tytonidae: Barn-owls

  • Genus Tyto: typical barn-owls, stand up to 3 feet (0.91 m) tall some 15 species and possibly one recently extinct
  • Genus Phodilus: bay-owls, 1–2 extant species and possibly one recently extinct

Fossil genera Genera Tyto Phodilus Barn owls (family Tytonidae) are one of the two generally accepted families of owls, the other being the typical owls, Strigidae. ... Genera Tyto Phodilus Barn owls (family Tytonidae) are one of the two generally accepted families of owls, the other being the typical owls, Strigidae. ... Species The bay owls are barn owls of the genus Phodilus, subfamily Phodilinae. ...

  • Nocturnavis (Late Eocene/Early Oligocene) - includes "Bubo" incertus
  • Necrobyas (Late Eocene/Early Oligocene - Late Miocene) - includes "Bubo" arvernensis and Paratyto
  • Selenornis (Late Eocene/Early Oligocene) - includes "Asio" henrici
  • Prosybris (Early Oligocene? - Early Miocene)

Placement unresolved

  • Tytonidae gen. et sp. indet. "TMT 164" (Middle Miocene) - Prosybris?

yes


Relationship with humans

A Burrowing Owl, Athene cunicularia.
A Burrowing Owl, Athene cunicularia.

Owls have been a feature of falconry for years. In recent years, many owls have moved from their previous rural habitats to start to inhabit urban areas. The Tawny Owl has been a common visitor to cities across the UK for about forty years, where it survives on a diet of pigeons and small birds. Owls in urban areas are also known to prey on cats.[8] Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1280x850, 485 KB) by R.Wampers from http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1280x850, 485 KB) by R.Wampers from http://www. ... Binomial name (Molina, 1782) Subspecies About 20 living, see text Synonyms Strix cunicularia Molina, 1782 Speotyto cunicularia Spheotyto cunicularia (lapsus) The Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) is a small, long-legged owl found throughout open landscapes of North and South America. ... Flying a Saker Falcon A Goshawk A Hobby Falconry or hawking is an art or sport which involves the use of trained raptors (birds of prey) to hunt or pursue game for humans. ... Binomial name Strix aluco Linnaeus, 1758 The Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) is a species of owl resident in much of Europe and southern Russia. ...


In many parts of the world, owls have been associated with death and misfortune, likely due to their nocturnal activity and common screeching call. However, owls have also been associated with wisdom and prosperity, frequently being companion animals for goddesses. When anthropomorphising a (non-human) animal there are stereotypical traits which commonly tend to be associated with particular species. ... For other uses, see Death (disambiguation). ... For the apocryphal book of the Bible, see Book of Wisdom. ...


Henry David Thoreau summarized one perception of owls, when he wrote in 1854's Walden, "I rejoice that there are owls. Let them do the idiotic and maniacal hooting for men. It is a sound admirably suited to swamps and twilight woods which no day illustrates, suggesting a vast and underdeveloped nature which men have not recognized. They represent the stark twilight and unsatisfied thoughts which all [men] have." Thoreau redirects here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Africa

Ancient Egyptians used a representation of an owl for their hieroglyph for the sound m. They would often draw this hieroglyph with its legs broken to keep this bird of prey from coming to life.[citation needed]. The pyramids are the most recognizable symbols of the civilization of ancient Egypt. ... It has been suggested that Hieroglyph (French Wiki article) be merged into this article or section. ...


Among the Kikuyu of Kenya it was believed that owls were harbingers of death. If one saw an owl or heard its owls hoot, someone was going to die. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


The Americas

Moche Owl. 200 A.D. Larco Museum Collection Lima, Peru.
Moche Owl. 200 A.D. Larco Museum Collection Lima, Peru.

In the culture of some Native Americans (e.g. the Native American Hopi nation), taboos often surround owls and they are often associated with evil or sorcery. Like eagle feathers, the possession of owl feathers as religious objects is regulated by federal law (e.g. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and Title 50 Part 22 Code of Federal Regulations). Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The Larco Museum (Spanish: ) is located in the Pueblo Libre District in Lima, Peru. ... This article is about the people indigenous to the United States. ... Moki redirects here. ... Genera Several, see text. ... Religious is a term with both a technical definition and folk use. ...


The Aztecs and Mayans, along with other natives of Mesoamerica, considered the Owl a symbol of death and destruction. In fact, the Aztec god of death, Mictlantecuhtli, was often depicted with owls. There is an old saying in Mexico that is still in use (considered politically incorrect): Cuando el tecolote canta, el indio muere ("When the owl cries/sings, the Indian dies").[citation needed] For other uses, see Aztec (disambiguation). ... This article is about the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ... This article is about the culture area. ... Statuette of Mictlantecuhtli Mictlantecuhtli (lord of Mictlan), in Aztec mythology, was a god of the dead and King of Mictlan (Chicunauhmictlan), the lowest and northernmost section of the underworld. ... Politically Incorrect was a late-night, half-hour political talk show hosted by Bill Maher that ran from 1993 to 2002. ...


Other Native American tribes saw the owl as the carrier of the elders' spirits.[citation needed]


The Moche people of ancient Peru worshipped the animal and often depicted owls in their art.[9] The Moche civilization (alternately, the Mochica culture, Early Chimu, Pre-Chimu, Proto-Chimu, etc. ...


Asia

In Japanese culture, owls are seen as either negative or positive symbols depending on species. Sometimes owls are seen as divine messengers of the gods, while Barn or Horned owls are perceived as demonic figures. The culture of Japan has evolved greatly over the years, from the countrys original Jomon culture to its contemporary hybrid culture, which combines influences from Asia, Europe and North America. ...


In Indian culture, a white owl is considered a companion and vahana (Vehicle of god/godess) of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and therefore a harbinger of prosperity. The owl has been adapted as an emblem to reflect its implications of wisdom (Wise old owl) by a revered military institution in India known as the Defense Services Staff College. In colloquial use, however, it is commonly used to refer to stupidity. The culture of India has been shaped by the long history of India, all the while absorbing customs, traditions and ideas from both immigrants and invaders, yet resiliently preserving the ancient Vedic culture derived from the Indus Valley Civilization. ... In Indian mythology, the vahana is the object or vehicle that serves a divinity. ... For other uses, see Lakshmi (disambiguation). ... The Defense Services Staff College (DSSC) is an inter-service institution of the Indian Ministry of Defence that trains officers of all three services of the Indian Armed Forces (Navy, Army, Air Force) and officers from friendly foreign countries for command and staff appointments. ...


The demoness Lilith is thought to have been associated with (screech) owls as well, by way of the KJV translation of the passage in Isaiah 34:14. Prior to the rise of Islam, owls were considered bad omens and associated with evil spirits in most Middle Eastern pagan traditions. In modern times, although such superstitions are less prevalent, owls are still popularly considered "evil" because of their fierce, horrific appearance. Mesopotamian mythology is the collective name given to Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, and Babylonian mythologies from the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq. ... This article is about the demon Lilith. ... This page is about the version of the Bible; for the Harvey Danger album, see King James Version (album). ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Examples of omens from the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493): natural phenomena and strange births. ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... Pagan and heathen redirect here. ...


In the Malay language, owls are called "burung hantu", literally 'ghost bird'.


Europe

In Greek mythology, the owl, and specifically the Little Owl, was often associated with the goddess Athena, a bird goddess who became associated with wisdom, the arts, and skills, and as a result, owls also became associated with wisdom. They are the unofficial mascot of the high-IQ society Mensa. The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... Binomial name Athene noctua (Scopoli, 1769) The Little Owl (Athene noctua) is a species of owl resident in much of temperate Europe. ... This is the Greek name of the capital of the Hellenic Republic (Greece). ... Bird goddesses the Neolithic Vinca culture had a bird goddess, according to Marija Gimbutas; see also Vinca script. ... For the apocryphal book of the Bible, see Book of Wisdom. ... This article is about Arts as a group of disciplines. ... Mensa is the largest, oldest, and most famous high-IQ society in the world. ...


The Romans, in addition to having borrowed the Greek associations of the owl (see Owl of Minerva), also considered owls to be funerary birds, due to their nocturnal activity and often having their nests in inaccessible places. As a result, seeing an owl in the daytime was considered a bad omen. The vampiric strix of Roman mythology was in part based on the owl. Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... The owl of Minerva is the owl that accompanies Minerva in Roman myths, seen as a symbol of wisdom. ... The appearance and sound of the screech owl influenced Roman ideas of the blood-drinking strix. ... A head of Minerva found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath Roman mythology, the mythological beliefs of the people of Ancient Rome, can be considered as having two parts. ...


Likewise, in Romanian culture, the mournful call of an owl is thought to predict the death of somebody living in the neighbourhood. Such superstitions caused a minor disturbance when an owl showed up at Romanian President's residence, Cotroceni Palace. The culture of Romania is rich and varied. ... Cotroceni Palace is a palace of Bucharest which is the residence of the President of Romania. ...


In the Welsh Cycles of the Mabinogion, the Owl is considered cursed - the first owl was Blodeuedd, a woman born of flowers to be the wife of Lleu Llaw Gyffes. Because she fell in love with another man and plotted to kill Lleu, Lleu's guardian Gwydion turned her into the first owl, saying "You are never to show your face to the light of day, rather you shall fear other birds; they will be hostile to you, and it will be their nature to maul and molest you wherever they find you. You will not lose your name but always be called Blodeuwedd." The addition of the w in her name changed her from a woman of flowers to an owl. The Mabinogion is a collection of prose stories from medieval Welsh manuscripts. ... In Welsh mythology, Blodeuwedd is the later name of Blodeuedd, a woman made from flowers by Math and Gwydion. ... In Welsh mythology, Lleu Llaw Gyffes (sometimes called Llew Llaw Gyffes) is a character appearing in the fourth of the Four Branches of the Mabinogion, the tale of Math fab Mathonwy. ... In Welsh mythology, Gwydion is a magician appearing prominently in the Fourth branch of the Mabinogi and the ancient poem Cad Goddeu. ...


In Finland the owl is paradoxically viewed as both a symbol of wisdom, and as a symbol of imbecility (presumably because of its "dumb" stare).


Footnotes

  1. ^ See Haaramo (2006). In reality, the presumed distant relationship of the accipitrids - namely, the "Accipitriformes" according to Sibley & Ahlquist (1990) - with owls (and most other bird lineages) is most likely due to systematic error. Accipitrids have undergone drastic chromosome rearrangement and thus appear in DNA-DNA hybridization generally unlike other living birds.
  2. ^ Mortimer (2004)
  3. ^ Olson (1985): pp.131, 267
  4. ^ Mayr (2005)
  5. ^ Alvarenga & Höfling (2003), Peters (2007)
  6. ^ a b Olson 1985: p.131
  7. ^ Sánchez Marco (2004)
  8. ^ Owls culprits in cat deaths. Retrieved on 2008-02-14.
  9. ^ Berrin & Larco Museum (1997)

Italic textSystematic errorsBold text are biases in measurement which lead to measured values being systematically too high or too low. ... Chromosomal translocation of the 4th and 20th chromosome. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance to the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 45th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  • Alvarenga, Herculano M. F. & Höfling, Elizabeth (2003): Systematic revision of the Phorusrhacidae (Aves: Ralliformes). Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia 43(4): 55-91 [http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?): The Spirit of Ancient Peru:Treasures from the Museo Arqueológico Rafael Larco Herrera. Thames and Hudson, New York.
  • Calaprice, Alice & Heinrich, Bernd (1990): Owl in the House: A Naturalist's Diary. Joy Street Books, Boston. ISBN 0316354562
  • Haaramo, Mikko (2006): Mikko's Phylogeny Archive: "Caprimulgiformes" - Nightjars. Version of 2006-MAY-11. Retrieved 2007-NOV-08.
  • Heinrich, Bernd (1987): One Man's Owl
  • Johnsgard, Paul A. (2002): North American Owls: Biology and Natural History, 2nd ed.. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DC. ISBN 1-56098-939-4
  • Mayr, Gerald (2005): "Old World phorusrhacids" (Aves, Phorusrhacidae): a new look at Strigogyps ("Aenigmavis") sapea (Peters 1987). PaleoBios (Berkeley) 25(1): 11-16 HTML abstract
  • Mortimer, Michael (2004): The Theropod Database: Phylogeny of taxa. Retrieved 2007-NOV-04.
  • Norberg, R.A. (1977): Occurrence and independent evolution of bilateral ear asymmetry in owls and implications on owl taxonomy. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences 280: 375-408.
  • Olson, Storrs L. (1985): The fossil record of birds. In: Farner, D.S.; King, J.R. & Parkes, Kenneth C. (eds.): Avian Biology 8: 79-238. Academic Press, New York.
  • Peters, Dieter Stefan (2007): The fossil family Ameghinornithidae (Mourer-Chauviré 1981): a short synopsis. Journal of Ornithology 148(1): 25-28. doi:10.1007/s10336-006-0095-z PDF fulltext
  • Sánchez Marco, Antonio (2004): Avian zoogeographical patterns during the Quaternary in the Mediterranean region and paleoclimatic interpretation. Ardeola 51(1): 91-132. PDF fulltext
  • Sibley, Charles Gald & Monroe, Burt L. Jr. (1990): Distribution and taxonomy of the birds of the world: A Study in Molecular Evolution. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. ISBN 0-300-04969-2

The Larco Museum (Spanish: ) is located in the Pueblo Libre District in Lima, Peru. ... Thames & Hudson (also Thames and Hudson and sometimes T&H for brevity) are a publisher, especially of art and illustrated books, founded in 1949 by Walter and Eva Neurath. ... Bernd Heinrich (born April 19, 1940, in Germany) teaches in the zoology department at the University of Vermont and is the author of a number of books about nature writing, zoology, ecology, and evolution. ... Mikkos Phylogeny Archive is an amateur paleontology website maintained by Mikko Haaramo, a student at the University of Helsinkis Department of Geology, Division of Geology and Palaeontology. ... Bernd Heinrich (born April 19, 1940, in Germany) teaches in the zoology department at the University of Vermont and is the author of a number of books about nature writing, zoology, ecology, and evolution. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... Charles Sibley (August 7, 1917 - April 12, 1998) was an American ornithologist and molecular biologist. ...

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Image File history File links Size of this preview: 600 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (1024 × 1024 pixel, file size: 223 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Description: Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea), Rondeau Provincial Park, 2005; de: Zitronenwaldsänger Photograph: Mdf first upload in en wikipedia on 23:23, 24... Paleornithology is the scientific study of bird evolution and fossil birds. ... Species A. lithographica Meyer, 1861 (type) Synonyms See below Archaeopteryx (from Ancient Greek archaios meaning ancient and pteryx meaning feather or wing; pronounced Ar-kay-op-ter-iks ) is the earliest and most primitive known bird to date. ... The Enantiornithes, or opposite birds (because their foot bones are fused differently than in modern birds), are an extinct group of flying birds. ... Families Enaliornithidae Baptornithidae Hesperornithidae Synonyms Odontornithes Marsh, 1873 (partim) Odontolcae Marsh, 1875 Gaviomorphae Cracraft, 1982 (partim) Hesperornithes are an extinct and highly specialized subclass of Cretaceous toothed birds. ... A bird hybrid is basically a bird that has two different species as parents. ... Prehistoric birds are various taxa of birds that became extinct before recorded history, or more precisely, before they could be studied alive by bird scientists. ... For a list of birds extinct in Late Quaternary prehistoric times and (usually) known from specimens not completely fossilized, see Later Quaternary Prehistoric Birds. ... The Sooty Tern is highly aerial and marine and will spend years flying at sea without returning to land. ... The Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy is a radical bird taxonomy based on DNA-DNA hybridization studies conducted in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. ... 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In scientific classification used in biology, the order (Latin: ordo, plural ordines) is a rank between class and family (termed a taxon at that rank). ... Families Struthionidae (ostriches) Rheidae (rheas) Casuariidae (emus etc. ... Genera Tinamus Nothocercus Crypturellus Rhynchotus Nothoprocta Nothura Taoniscus Eudromia Tinamotis The tinamous are one of the most ancient groups of bird, members of a South American bird family of about 47 species in 9 genera. ... Families Anhimidae Anseranatidae Anatidae †Dromornithidae †Presbyornithidae The order Anseriformes contains about 150 species of birds in three families: the Anhimidae (the screamers), Anseranatidae (the Magpie-goose), and the Anatidae, which includes over 140 species of waterfowl, among them the ducks, geese, and swans. ... Families Megapodidae Numididae Odontophoridae Phasianidae Meleagrididae Tetraonidae Cracidae Mesitornithidae The Galliformes is an order of birds containing the turkeys, grouse, quails and pheasants. ... 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Species See text For other uses, see Flamingo (disambiguation). ... Genera Podiceps Tachybaptus Podilymbus Aechmophorus Poliocephalus Rollandia Grebes are members of the Podicipediformes order, a widely distributed order of freshwater diving birds, some of which visit the sea when migrating and in winter. ... Families Accipitridae Pandionidae Falconidae Sagittariidae The order Falconiformes is a group of about 290 species of birds that include the diurnal birds of prey. ... Families †Gastornithidae Aramidae Psophiidae Rallidae Heliornithidae Rhynochetidae †Aptornithidae Eurypigidae Cariamidae Otidae Gruidae †Phorusrhacidae The diverse order Gruiformes contains about 12 bird families with, on first sight, little in common. ... 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Genera Colius Urocolius The mousebirds are a small group of near passerine birds which have no clear affinities to other groups, and are therefore given order status. ... Families Many, see text A passerine is a bird of the giant order Passeriformes. ... This page lists living orders and families of birds, class Aves (for extinct birds, please see Extinct birds and Prehistoric birds). ... // The following are the regional bird lists by continent. ... Bird ringing (also known as bird banding) is an aid to studying wild birds, by attaching a small individually numbered metal or plastic ring to their legs or wings, so that various aspects of the birds life can be studied by the ability to re-find the same individual... This article is about the field of zoology. ... Marbled Godwit, Limosa fedoa, prepared as a skin (shmoo), skeleton, and spread wing Bird collections are curated repositories of scientific specimens consisting of birds and their parts. ... 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  Results from FactBites:
 
Owl - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1650 words)
Owls are classified in two families: the typical owls, Strigidae, and the barn owls, Tytonidae.
In Indian culture, a white owl is considered a companion of the goddess of wealth, and therefore a harbinger of prosperity.
Bernd Heinrich, Owl in the House: A Naturalist's Diary, 1990
Owl - MSN Encarta (574 words)
Owls must turn their entire heads to look sideways, facilitated by relatively long and flexible necks that permit the head to be rotated through 270 degrees.
Owls feed entirely on living animals, with the size of the prey proportional to the size of the owl, from insects to mammals as large as hares.
Some owls of this genus are well known, such as the eastern screech owl of eastern North America, and the Eurasian scops owl, a strongly migratory species breeding in southern Europe east to Lake Baikal.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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