House owls. Owl - photo. nocturnal bird of prey

House owls. Owl - photo. nocturnal bird of prey
House owls. Owl - photo. nocturnal bird of prey

Of all the existing owls, little owls are the most common. They live in the western part of Europe, North Africa and South Asia and create nests in the plains, in the mountains, which sometimes reach a height of 3,000 meters. In the north, 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 it is simply huge.


House owls are somewhat distinguished from other species in several ways. They differ from scoops in slightly feathered fingers, and they do not have “ears”, from the sparrow owl in size, and from the boreal owl in dense plumage and longitudinal motley feathers on the head.

house owls

The color is a little brown, with a hint of olive. Nails are dark brown. The beak is slightly yellowish. The bird has a special look - looks as if from under his brows with his big yellow eyes.


These birds are not so small in size. The little owl whose photo yousee in the article, weighing approximately 160-180 grams, its body length is 23-28 cm, its wings are 15-18 cm, their span is 57-64 cm.

nocturnal bird of prey

As a rule, there are gender differences, females are slightly larger than males. Having met, two birds create a permanent pair and are together, even if the breeding season has not come. They arrange nesting sites themselves, sometimes digging small holes or laying eggs in burrows, in different buildings, cliffs.

House Owls Breeding

The breeding season comes in April or late March, depending on where the owl lives. In one clutch there are only four or five eggs, but sometimes 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 size at the age of one and a half months. For some time, the grown chicks stick together until they find a mate.


The owl is a nocturnal bird of prey, but sometimes it happens that it flies out to hunt at dusk. Its diet includes various rodents, lizards, worms, even frogs and reptiles, insects and small birds. However, if the owl sees any rodent, it will not even pay attention to other prey located next to it. This bird mainly catches mice or voles. These are the eating habits.

little owl photo

The house owl, the photo of which is presented in our article, has strong clawed paws. This allows him to hunt animals larger than his own weight without harming himself. In the deserts victimsowls 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 build their nest there. It turns out that they occupy someone else's housing and take tribute from the owners of the home. Little owls deserve praise from humans. All because they destroy the pests of our agriculture.

Besides the little owls, there are other species of birds of prey of the owl family. And we will consider them now.

Rough-footed Owl

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, the wings are long (15-19 cm) and wide, the tail is short. Paws are covered with thick feathers. Its body length is 21-27 cm, weight is approximately 1200 grams. Upland females, like house owls, are larger than males. The color is grayish, sometimes brown, with streaks on the neck and nape. The abdomen is white with a longitudinal brown pattern.

owl family

Rough-legged owls are common in the mountains and on the plains of the coniferous forests of Asia, Europe and North America. They also live in Russia, the Caucasus, the Alps, Western China, and the Balkans. This is a sedentary bird species. Northern birds are diurnal, while those in the south are mostly nocturnal.

birds of the owl family

The breeding season starts in mid-April. The female lays four to six white eggs in one clutch. Hatch them for over a month. The nesting period lasts approximately thirty days. They arrange their dwellings in the hollows of largetrees. They hunt mainly small rodents, but they can eat insects and small birds.

Sparrow Owl

As you already understood, the owl family is very diverse, and their males are smaller than females. And this one is no different from the others. However, they are slightly smaller in size than the above birds. The body length of the bird is 15-18 cm, wings - 9-11 cm, and their span - 35-40 cm. These little owls weigh 60-80 grams. The color of the feathers is brown, with a grayish tint and white streaks. Their claws are black and their beak is yellowish. The toes are covered with dense feathers.

The Pyre-Owl mainly lives in the 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 Altai, the Ryazan region, Transbaikalia. This species is also sedentary. Owls arrange their nests mainly in birches and aspens. The number of eggs laid depends on the abundance of food. In Russia, owls lay most often two or three white eggs, and in Europe - from four to six, sometimes even seven pieces. The breeding season starts at the end of April. But grown chicks can be found already in August.

Food and hunting

Hunting owls occurs 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 brownies), and they are also not averse to tasting shrews. They also like insects very much, but this delicacy is better suited for grown chicks. By the way, it is very characteristic for them that they store food, especially in winter. They keepbirds collected food in their hollows.

Elf Owl

According to the description, this bird is very similar to the owl. Only this owl is just tiny, since 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. Its wings are rounded. The color, like all other owls, is gray-brown with white markings. Claws and beak are pale brown.

species of birds of prey

Elf Owl is a settled bird. Lives in the desert areas of the USA and Mexico. He arranges his nests at a height of two or more meters, 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 owls. In one clutch there are from two to five eggs, but most often only three. This is a nocturnal bird of prey that hunts only at night and feeds exclusively on insects.

Rabbit owl

No matter how strange it may sound, but this is a type of bird - terrestrial. They inhabit only the open spaces of America, Canada and Argentina. During the day, the 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 burrows left by mammals. In length, their dwelling can reach four meters. Owls settle in groups that are located close to each other. Their nesting season is over.from March to August. The number of eggs in one clutch can be from two to eleven. They hatch their offspring for about four weeks. And by the way, the male at this time is in a hole next to the one where the female sits on her eggs.

owl photo

This type of owl has a very interesting color - reddish-brown-gray, with speckles. Eye color is yellow. The beak is greenish-pale gray, the legs are the same color, only the sole is yellowish. The length of these birds is only 23 cm, and the wings are 16 cm, but in a span they are 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 can protect themselves and their offspring, Mother Nature endowed them with an interesting voice. They make sounds similar to the crackling of a rattlesnake. Thus, they earned the nickname in everyday life "owl - rattlesnake." It is also the only owl of its kind that lives on the surface of the earth and has an interesting habit of stretching its neck to inspect the surroundings.

They feed not only on small rodents and birds, but also on fruits, various cactus seeds.

This species is on the verge of extinction due to the fact that its representatives settle in holes in the ground. Every year their number decreases, the species requires restoration and protection.

Small conclusion

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 in size, others have longer wings or strong paws withhuge claws with which they grab their prey. All of them are beautiful in their own way, and some individuals even need human protection. In addition, owls are very useful, because they do good by exterminating rodents, thereby saving our crops.

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