Owls are characterised by an upright stance, binocular vision, and flight feathers that are adapted for silent flight. In many species the flight feathers are serrated at the edges; this reduces the noise made by the wingbeats and allows the owls to silently hunt their prey. Many species are nocturnal and hunt their prey at night, while some are crepuscular and become active during dawn and dusk. There are two families into which owl species are placed; the barn owls which include grass and bay owls, and typical owls which includes about 120 species. Together these families are found all over the world in a wide range of habitats, from woodlands and deserts, to mountains and the Arctic.
We would like to thank all the photographers that submitted photos of owls, there was a great selection of photos to choose from; your pictures can bring awareness about this fascinating groups of birds. Here we present the Top 25 photographs of owls.
Spotted owlet with the moon photographed in New Delhi, India (Aman Sharma)Buffy fish owl in Singapore, it inhabits wet tropical forests and woody areas near water and makes use of densely foliaged tress to shelter during the day (Bharath Srinivasan)Mottled wood owl flying in Bangalore, Karnataka, India (Praveen K Bhat)Jungle owlets make use of scrub and deciduous forest habitats on the Indian Subcontinent (Naveen Joyous)Indian scops owl pair in Ranthambore National Park, India (Samanvay Bhutani)Eastern screech owls are common in Eastern North America, they make use of wooded habitats and have adapted well to human habitats (Rhonda Lane)Marsh owl flying through the plains in Ndutu, Tanzania (Teri Franzen)Northern saw-whet owls are native to North America and make use of coniferous forest habitats (Tim Nicol)Bare-legged owls are endemic to Cuba, they are nocturnal and will forage on the ground in dry forests and lowland moist forest (Adriana Dinu)Portrait of a brown wood owl taken in Uttrakhand India (Kumar Kumud Gangesh)Burrowing owls get their name from their habit of living in burrows made by small mammals in grassland, desert and steppe habitats (J Bernardo Sanchez)Eurasian pygmy owl at Elatia forest in Greece, one of its most Southern recorded areas recently (Antonis Tsaknakis)Barn owls are widely distributed; found on all continents except Antarctica, they make use of grassland, marsh, and agricultural field habitats, and feed on small mammals (Satyajit Ganguly)Little owl mid-yawn in Italy, it can be found in the temperate and warm parts of Europe, Asia east to Korea, and North Africa (Carlo Galliani)Indian eagle-owls are a species of horned owl that are found on the Indian Subcontinent, they are also known as rock eagle-owls because they make use of rocky scrub forest habitats (Vishal Monakar)Burrowing owl feeding on an Aruban whiptail lizard in Aruba (Michiel Oversteegen)Short-eared owl flying in Gurugram, Haryana, India, this bird is found on all continents except Antarctica and Australia (Sudhir Kadam)The southern white-faced owl is distributed in the southern half of Africa where they use Savanna, and wooded area habitats (Owen Deutsch)Great horned owls are native to the Americas, their horns are tufts of feathers known as plumicorns (Kishore Bakshi)Brown hawk-owls are distributed in the Indian Subcontinent to east Siberia, and Japan, they make use of forest and woodland habitats and are active at night, also at dawn and dusk (Senthil Kumar Damodaran)Asian barred owlets are resident in the northern parts of the Indian Subcontinent, they are found in open forests of pine and oak. Photographed here in Kaziranga National Park, India (Anirban Roychowdhury)Long-eared owls breed in Europe, Asia, and North America. Their ear tufts, positioned in the centre of their head, are used to make them appear larger to other owls (Wilma McKenzie)Oriental scops owls are distributed across eastern and southern Asia and they feed on insects, spiders, and small vertebrates (Vishal Monakar)Tawny owls are distributed in Eurasia and can be found in deciduous and mixed forests, they have been able to inhabit urban areas because of urban green spaces such as gardens and parks (Edwin Godinho)Snowy owls are native to the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia, their habitats are open, treeless areas. Photographed here in Binghamton, New York, USA (Sharon Templin)
Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.
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Edited by Laurie Johnson, Campaign Manager