Thick plumage and cleverly designed feathers help owls swoop in on prey nearly silently. (RB)

Thick plumage and cleverly designed feathers help owls swoop in on prey nearly silently. (RB)

Owls capture small animals with their sharp talons. (RB)

Owls capture small animals with their sharp talons. (RB)

An owl has sharp eyes. But its ears are even more important to tracking down prey. (RB)

An owl has sharp eyes. But its ears are even more important to tracking down prey. (RB)

Some owls are active at night. Some prefer dusk and dawn. And a few owl species are active during the day. You could build an owl box like this. (RB)

Some owls are active at night. Some prefer dusk and dawn. And a few owl species are active during the day. You could build an owl box like this. (RB)

Owls

Posted: April 29, 2019

One way God provides for His creatures’ needs is by equipping them to hunt and survive.

Does an owl need to hide? God gives it colors that blend in with woods, tree bark, or the snowy Arctic. Here are some other ways God designed strigiformes for their home and way of life:

Owls are raptors—meat-eating predators. A five-inch elf owl might settle for preying on a large insect. A 32-inch great gray owl might catch a skunk. Owls eat some prey whole and then regurgitate (spit up) the parts that can't be digested as pellets.

Owls have sharp beaks and talons. Their foot bones are short and strong, designed to handle the impact of a swooping attack. Knobby skin provides grip. Did you know that owls and other birds have tendons with a ratchet effect? Their feet stay locked on a perch without constantly using their muscles.

Most birds have eyes on the sides of their heads. Owl eyes face forward and don't move. Their field of view is small, about 110 degrees. Yours covers 180 degrees. But an owl can turn its head 270 degrees and nearly upside down. And its very large eyes collect lots of light. Some owls can see a mouse from half a mile away.

Did you think all owls were nocturnal, hunting only at night? Not so! Some are diurnal, hunting during the day. One advantage of being a night owl is being able to share hunting territory with daytime predators.

Owls don’t build. They reuse the nests of other birds. Or they look for snug spots like hollows in trees, clumps of grass, or the abandoned burrows of other animals. Owls that live out in flat, barren areas like the arctic tundra will scrape a dent into a small mound of earth. Owls lay up to a dozen eggs. You could build a simple owl box.

Ear tufts are just display feathers. An owl’s ears are on the sides of its head. They are more important to its hunting than eyes. The ears of some species are not even. One opening is higher than the other. Sound doesn’t reach each ear at exactly the same time. Owls use this feature to tell the distance and direction of prey.

The thickness of an owl’s plumage and shape of its broad wings make flapping less noisy. The front edge of an owl feather is comb-like. Little points break up the air as it streams over the feather. The trailing edge is ragged. It spreads the air leaving the wing. These features soften the turbulence and noise of air rushing over the owl's wings.

I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. ― Psalm 50:11