Owls Theme--School-age


Owls Theme

Things to Know

Owls are birds of prey. Owls are known for their distinctive call, nocturnal habits, and silent flight. Most owls are nocturnal, they are active at night and sleep in the day.

There are 216 different types of owls. They are sorted into two groups, barn owls and typical owls. 18 belong to the Barn Owl family and 198 belong to the typical owl family. Owls are found on all contients except Antarctica.


Barn Owls

Barn Owl
Barn owls are found world-wide except in the polar and desert regions. They have a heart shaped face, long legs, powerful talons, and a lot of feathers. It is a small medium-sized bird with a wing-span of about 42 inches (107 centimeters). Barn owls do not hoot, they emit a long screech. They are also called ghost owl, monkey faced owl, white owl, barnyard owl, hissing owl, and screech owl.

Barn owls hunt small mammals, a vast majority of the their food consist of small rodents. Because barn owls feed on small mammals they are a favorite of farmers. They have excellent hearing and can catch their prey in complete darkness. They will swallow their prey whole and


Typical Owls

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl
There are 198 different owls in the typical owl group. The Great Horned Owl is most well-known of the North American owls. The Great Horned Owl is almost two feet tall (60.96cm). With dark brown feathers and a large white patch on its throat, and ear tufts. The Great Horned Owl can be found from Alaska south to Mexico.

Screech Owl
Screech Owl
One of the typical owls is called a screech owl (The common name "screech owl" is sometimes used for the Barn Owl). It lives in the same territory as the Great Horned Owl. The screech owl is smaller than the Great Horned Owl, it is about seven (17.78cm) to ten inches (25.4cm) tall.

Elf Owl
Elf Owl
The Elf Owl is the world's smallest owl with a round head and no ear tufts. They are only 5 to 12 inches tall and have a wingspan of 15 to 16 inches and short tails. It can be found in the Southwest United States to Mexico. It does not like cold weather and migrates.

It diet consists mostly of insects that are resting on tree branches or on the ground. Elf owls nest in abandoned nest from other species. It most likes to nest in woodpecker cavities in cacti and deciduous trees. Often times the woodpecker cavities are not abandoned, causing a competition between the owl and woodpecker. Elf owls migrate. In the spring and summer they migrate to Arizona and New Mexico. In the winter they migrate to central and southern Mexico.

Tawny Owls

Tawny Owl
Tawny owls are medium sized about 37–43 cm (14.5–17 in) in length, with an 81–96 cm (32–38 in) wingspan. They are found across Europe and in parts of Asia. They are found in dense forests and open woodland. However, some have adapted to urban living and are now found in large gardens, parks, and farmland areas with trees.

Many have taken up residence in large cities, where they take shelter in abandoned buildings or the crevices of structures. The tawny owl is the most common owl in Britian. Tawny owls are Britian's most common owl. Its tu-whit tu-whoo call is very distintive and popular in fairy tales.



Owl Eyes

Owls have large forward-facing eyes. An owl is unable to move its eyes. It can swivel its head through 270 degrees because of its 14 neck vertebrae (a person has 7 vertebrae in our necks). Their binocular vision offers precise visual information needed for owls to spot and capture their prey.

Owl Pellets

Owls are not able to chew their food. Owls eat all their prey. Unlike other birds owls do not have a crop, which holds swallowed food to be digested later. The parts of their food that they can not digest compressed into a pellet, later the pellet is regurgitated.

Virtual Owl Pellet


Owl Story Paper. Write about owls or create your own story.

Owl Story Paper-1

Owl Story Paper-1

Owl Story Paper-1

Owl Story Paper-2

Recommended Book

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Owl Moon {Book-inspired elementary printables}

Owl paper bag puppet - template

3rd grade Owl Moon landscapes

Owl Moon Video

Sites to See

Daytime and Nighttime animals Cut and paste activity.

Learn About Owls

Create Feature Owls-National Geographic

Owl Calls & Sounds

Owl Pages Everything about owls.

Owls of North America

Owl Trivia Game-Online

Owling North and Central American Owls, includes sounds, video, and photographs of many types of owls.

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