All types of owls have been divided into two main groups Barn Owls (Tytonidae) and True Owls (Strigidae). The Strigidae is a typical owl family and most of the owl species live solitary with nocturnal behaviour, howvever, there are exceptions attached. Owl species love to eat small mammals, various insects, and other birds as well. They are seen all across the world except the Antarctic. Owls are raptors or birds of prey and they use sharp talons and curved bills to hunt down prey. There are approximately 250 species of owls in the world. Here is a list of types of owls in the world,
Types Of Owls
Barn Owl is a medium-sized owl species commonly seen in Florida and as of now, 30 subspecies of the barn owl are found across the world except in the polar regions and deserts. The owl species loves to thrive in grasslands, farmlands and areas near the rivers and woodlands. It’s a reach upto 13 to 15 inches in length and wieght approximately 10 to 19.4 ounces of weight. Talking about the appearance, Barn owls are known for their white face, grey to brownish head, and white to the yellowish-orange chest that can be pure or covered with dark spots. The total wingspan of the owl species is 31 to 37 inches and can fly at a speed of 50 miles per hour. The avarage lifespan of the species is 5 to 10 years in the wild.
Snowy Owl was mostly seen in the regions of Canada, however, they are also visible in the arctic tundras of Greenland, Scandinavia, and Russia. This is the largest species of owls and has white feathers along with bright yellow and round eyes. The unique part is that snowy owl typically hunts during the day rather than at night like most owls. Also, the beak of the owl is small and ends in a sharp point which helps in making the hunt easier. The owl species hunts on voles, arctic hares and even small birds. It loves to thrive in the barren regions of the arctic tundra. It is also seen in the wide-open stretches of land rather than mountainous regions, especially during their breeding seasons.
Also Read: Top 10 Birds Chirping At Night
Elf Owls are the smallest owls in the world belong to the Strigidae family. It is also known as Whitney’s Owl and scientifically known as Micrathene whitneyi that can reach upto 5 inches which is equivalent to the size of a songbird. The total wingspan is 9 inches long and wieght approximately 2 ounces. Elf Owls used to create nests in the old woodpecker holes in saguaro cactus, mesquite, sycamore, and oak trees. The owl species love to eat small mammals and insects such as moths, beetles, and crickets, but they also prey on scorpions, spiders, and katydids. The avarage lifespan of the species is 3-6 years in the wild, however, in captivity, they used to live between 6 to 10 years.
Image Source: Wikimedia
4.Northern Hawk Owl
Northern Hawk Owl is a medium-sized bird species only active during the day. Talking about the appearance, the plumage is dark brown with an off-white spotting pattern along with boasts in a black v-shaped pattern. It can grow upto 36 to 45 cm with a total wingspan of 45 cm. The average wieght of the owl species is 300 to 340 gms and the avarage lifespan of the species is 10 years in the wild. The face of the species comes with a black border, a flat head, yellow eyes, and a yellow curved beak. It is mostly seen in the regions of North America and Eurasia.
Burrowing Owl is a small and long-legged owl species mostly seen in the regions of North and South America. It loves to thrive in grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, deserts, or any other open dry area with low vegetation. The owl species has been formally described by the Spanish naturalist Juan Ignacio Molina in 1782 under the binomial name Strix cunicularia from a specimen collected in Chile. The species feeds on large invertebrates, small mammals, and other birds. The species hunts for small rodents at night and live on the ground and nest in burrows. It is known for its excellent vision and hearing for capturing prey.
6.Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl is named after he tuft of feathers that look like horns. The species breeds from northern Alaska to the tip of Tierra del Fuego. It is scientifically known as Bubo Virginianus that can grow upto 8 – 25 inches long along with a wingspan of 40 – 60.5 in. Talking about appearance, the face of the owl species is a brown or grey and white patch on the throat. The upper part of the beak is curved and is 1.5 inches long. The eyes are as large as humans but the bird species cannot turn them inside the eye sockets. It loves to eat hares, rats, squirrels, mice, moles, voles, shrews, bats, armadillos, muskrats, weasels, rabbits, skunks, house cats, insects and gerbils.
Image Source: Wikimedia
Spotted Owl is native to North America and mostly seen in the mountains of Washington, Oregon and California, the western slopes of Sierra Nevada and the southern Rockies, however, they are also spotted in Utah and central Colorado through Arizona‘s mountain ranges, New Mexico, extreme western Texas, and central Mexico. The avarage lifespan of the owl is about 10 years in the wild, and 15 to 20 years in captivity. It can grow upto a length of 43 cm with a total wingspan of 114 cm. The avarage wieght of the species is 600 g (1.3 lb).
Eagle Owl is known for its fast and powerful flights and it is also listed as one of the world’s largest owls. They have unique pumpkin orange eyes along with feathery ear tufts that make them one of the most striking owls in the world. The species were seen in the regions of Europe and Asia and in parts of northern Africa. It loves to thrive in areas with rocky outcrops and cliffs. The owl species loves to feed on small mammals such as voles, rats, and rabbits, but also hunt woodpeckers, herons, and other birds, including other raptors, however, they also feed on amphibians, reptiles, fish, and insects. The avarage lifespan is 20 years in the wild and up to 60 years in captivity.
9.Great Grey Owl
One of the types of owls, the Great Grey Owl is also one of the largest owls in the world and even one of the world’s largest owls to live in the northern hemisphere. It is known for its large facial disk along with a satellite dish of feathers. The species is distributed in Scandinavia, northern North America, and northern Asia. It can grow upto 61cm to 84cm in length and weigh around 800g to 1,500g. The avarage lifespan of species is 12 years in the wild and 30 to 40 years in captivity. They are known for its fantastic hearing capabilities and it is capable of hearing preys’ heartbeat two feet under the snow.
Long-Eared Owl is a medium-sized owl species that can grow upto 35 to 37 cm in length and wieght around 210-370 gms. The total wingspan of the species is 84-95 cm. It loves to feed on small rodents and small birds in winter. Talking about the appearance, the owl species is brownish-grey in colour along with an orange facial disk. It can grow upto 31cm – 37cm in length and have an avarage wieght of 100g – 300g. The total wingspan of the species is 86cm – 98cm in length. The natural predators are Eagles, Harks and foxes. It is known for its Long ear-tufts and tan-coloured eye disks.
These are the types of owls in the world. Kindly share and do post your comments.