Owls are nocturnal birds of prey with an acute sense of hearing and excellent night-vision. Because of the frayed edges on their wings, they fly soundlessly as they swoop down on their prey, which typically include small destructive rodents such as rats and gophers.
"There are almost 200 different species of owls around the world. These nocturnal carnivores (night-time hunters) have large eyes that face forward, for seeing in three dimensions in dim light. They also have disk-shaped faces that help focus the slightest sounds their small prey might make in the dark." BioKids is home to an excellent owl introduction, which includes a photo gallery, some recorded owl calls, and a classification listing of owl species within the order Strigiformes. BioKids is a don resource for both school reports and the simply curious.
"Owl pellets are masses of bone, teeth, hair, feathers and exoskeletons of various animals preyed upon by raptors, or birds of prey. Pellets are produced and regurgitated not only by owls, but by hawks, eagles and other raptors that swallow their prey whole of in small pieces." This classroom (or homeschool) lab worksheet introduces owl pellets and provides a form for summarizing the bones discovered in a dissected pellet. Be sure to print out the accompanying Owl Pellet Bone Chart, which diagrams the bones (skull, scapula, rib, etc.) of rodents, shrews, moles and birds.
Don't have an owl pellet of your own? No worries! You can perform a virtual pellet dissection online at KidWings. Start with the great Pellet Information section ("Are Pellets Important?") then move on to read the directions about how to perform the virtual pellet dissection. Then, last but certainly not least, is the actual Virtual Pellet Dissection. Click, click. Enjoy! Other worthwhile sections of the site are the Teacher Materials and the Owl Crossword and Word Search listed under Just for Fun.
Owling.com is a huge collection of info about North and Central American Owls "with both biology and multimedia sections to help with the identification, enjoyment, and appreciation of these awesome winged predators." Highlights include an introduction to the hobby of owling (owl watching), and the owl species reference guide, organized as a photo gallery. Start in either the North American or Central American multimedia section, then click on any of the thumbnails to pull up a species fact sheet that includes photos, video, audio, and field notes.
"Owls have fascinated man from time immemorial - to some cultures they are symbols of wisdom, while to others they are harbingers of doom and death. Here, The Owl Pages sheds some light on these mysterious creatures." Owl Pages is another encyclopedic site. Some of the unique content includes owl mythology, owl artwork, and owl rehabilitation. "Only ever remove the bird from the area if you are positive it has been abandoned or if it is clearly injured. Seek expert advice immediately and do not attempt to treat or feed the bird yourself."
Owls are nocturnal birds of prey with an acute sense of hearing and excellent night-vision. Because of the frayed edges on their wings, they fly soundlessly as they swoop down on their prey, which typically include small destructive rodents such as rats and gophers.\t\n