Owl Facts

Owls live on every continent, except Antarctica and they have developed unique talents, depending upon the area that they live in.

Interesting facts about owls:

There are over 155 different types of owls throughout the world. North America has 19 different varieties.

  • Female owls are bigger and heavier than male owls.
  • The Great Horned Owl, weighs from 3 ½ to 4 lbs. When you weigh both of its eyes together they weigh nearly an ounce (25.7 grams) which is heavier than the eyes of a human that weighs two hundred pounds.
  • The largest owl is the Great Gray Owl weighs only 2-3 pounds, but the Snowy owl weighs around four pounds.



The owl has thick long feathers that cover the neck area so that it makes their necks appear fat and short. The owl neck is actually skinner and longer than it appears. Owls can turn their necks to make their heads turn around 270 degrees (almost ¾ of a circle) without making their shoulders move.

  • Owls can’t turn their eyes in the sockets because they don’t actually have eyeballs. Due to their shape, which is tube-like, their eyes remain stationary.
  • Owls and some of their relatives are some of the only birds that have an upper eyelid that is larger than the lower eyelid. Their relatives, the nightjars, share the same trait and can include: nighthawks and whip-poor-wills.



Many cultures around the world have created folklore about the owls. It is believed that they are so popular because of their appearance. Their eyes and feathers below their beaks make them look more like people than other birds. They also have a sound or voice that is more human-like.



Owls have pupils that allow a lot of light to come in and they can see during the day. Because their pupils don’t close like ours they have to close their eyelids to block out extra light. They give the appearance that they are half asleep, although they are actually quite awake.



Owls are carnivores and eat small rodents. Since they can’t digest bone, all of that material is transferred into a separate area called the ‘gizzard’. Once per day the owl regurgitates all excess materials in a clear round mass called a ‘pellet’.