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Birds of this group, and it is presented almost by 150 kinds, live hardly probable not in all natural zones. To learn an owl easily to some general signs peculiar to the majority of them.
It is considered that the first bird similar to an owl lived already in late mezozoe (248-65 million years ago). At the time of come behind it eotsena, and it has ended 40 million years ago, in Europe as believe, there lived some kinds of owls. But birds with acquaintances to us lines have appeared during the period from 10 to 25 million years ago.
Signs of owls
First of signs which at once you mark in an owl, its large head and a muzzle with the big round eyes looking forward which surrounds an obverse disk are. At sipuh an obverse disk it has the heart form, but at ordinary owls usually round. A beak short, bent, with the nostrils located at the basis.
Plumage at these birds, as a rule, dense and soft, a tail rectangular, and wings rather large, roundish, and at those kinds which hunt under wood bed curtains, they short, and at preferring open district or often making flights - long. In comparison with weight of a body wings at an owl big so it flies and plans, without applying special efforts and absolutely silently.
Colouring of plumage at owls, as a rule, "чрЁш=эр " that is it merges with environment, helping a bird to remain not noticed during day rest. Feathers of wood owls usually brownish, thus at the kinds living in coniferous woods, the grayish shade is marked. Owls - inhabitants of deserts and their relatives who are found on flat district, differ more light colouring: owls in desert precisely red. Except for fish owls, feathers cover also paws. Thanks to that external fingers at it turnaround, the owl equally strongly grasps both a perch, and the victim, and claws at them at all long and sharp.
Females, as a rule, are hardly larger than males, but colouring of feathers at them almost identical. However, at a polar owl males differ snow-white plumage, and at their girlfriends it has appreciable brownish pestriny.
Owls possess an acute eyesight and hearing. Their big eyes are adapted for hunting in the conditions of weak illumination. Often speak, as if owls well see in the dark, but by the light of day - is weak, but neither that, nor other opinion is not true. To the person, binocular sight is inherent in an owl as eyes at it look forward, as well as, but its wider field is reached thanks to ability of a bird to turn a head almost on 180 degrees. Ears at it are located on either side of an obverse disk, and at some kinds external ears are asymmetrical, that is one can be on 50% more than another, besides and above settles down. The internal ear is especially great at all owls. And nejronov in that part of a brain which is responsible for hearing, at them much more, than at the majority of other birds. As consequence - such thin hearing that some owls are able to define the location of the extraction in outer darkness, and even under a snow layer. By the way, brushes on ears at some kinds of the general with hearing of owls have no anything, but, possibly, help to identify representatives of the kind.
Habits of owls
Almost all kinds of owls conduct a nocturnalism, except for a house horned owl, widespread in the south of Britain and in Europe, and the marsh owl meeting across all Britain and Eurasia. Two kinds of owls - a hawk owl and polar - live in Arctic regions. In the summer they usually hunt at the clear nights, and prefer several hours of day time of days in the winter.
In the Afternoon the majority of owls have a rest in the chosen place - on a branch, in a crevice, on a rock ledge, and even under a canopy of a roof of the thrown house. There are kinds which suit nests in ground deepenings, and is also such that live in holes.
Almost all owls - birds settled, that is all life live in one place, however happen among them and flying kinds. Some sipuhi, meeting in the Central and Southern Europe in the summer, for the winter fly away on the north of tropical Africa or in other areas of the Mediterranean. The marsh owl too by the winter migrates on the south. To wander from the acquired place of many owls - for example, hawk and big grey - shortage of food can force.
Settled owls distinguishes the characteristic behaviour connected with protection of own territory: they aggressively concern attempts it to break someone, and especially other birds of prey.
Owls - birds rather talkative. The repertoire of their shouts includes much more sounds, than familiar to all uhane. The male nejasyti ordinary shout warns infringers of territory, accompanies courting for a female and foretells the returning in a nest with meal for the darling and baby birds. Besides, at it wide enough repertoire. Special garrulity is inherent in owls in reproduction. It is known that the hawk owl during such time for one night can give tongue 600 times. Shouts at it the diversified: one, under the description, are similar to crying of the child, others remind a laughter - sharp and derisive. From the European owls a sparrow horned owl, perhaps, smallest, however not the most silent: at it an impressing set of territorial signals and various recovered posvistov. Baby birds at the majority of kinds when are hungry, inform on it fast chirikaniem, a clicking and shchebetaniem.
the Diet of owls
Owls eat, behind a small exception, live extraction. Sometimes saw that they use also drop, but nevertheless to satisfy the appetite of an owl prefer hunting. Their diet, small differences in which depend on an inhabitancy, includes also small mammals - mice, polevok, shrews, rats, lemmings, rabbits, mountain hares, and the earthworms, different insects, small snakes both other reptiles, and fish, and Crustacea. Happens that the owl on hunting can kill young olenenka, many of them attack other birds and even on small owls. Eagle owls, as it is known, can eat a hedgehog, having learnt before to undertake for meat, to skin it and a needle.
Its ways depend on the extraction. The owl is quick to grasp insects, and here if in a diet is fish - as at the South African fish owl, - then it, having taken seat on a thick branch near to water, will steadfastly watch, whether will give out the ripples which are in depth fish that then silently to dive and seize ulov claws. It can hunt on crabs and on the other small Crustacea who are found at a coastal line.
The Overwhelming majority of night hunters looks out for the extraction, quietly turning over certain sector into which they divide the grounds where make regular catching. Or, motionlessly sitting in a convenient place - on a branch or a column, - look out for a victim on the earth: the slightest movement of a shrew or polevki will not escape their acute eyesight and the most thin hearing. It is required to the European kinds in day of meal of 16-48% from weight of own body.
The Exception, apparently, are sipuhi, at which requirement for food above. By the way, if to compare quantity eaten with a size of a bird, many small owls will give odds to larger kinds.
Reproduction of owls
Probably, the most appreciable influence on when owls start reproduction, presence of meal and prevailing weather conditions render: if it is a lot of food, to breed birds begin earlier and postpone more eggs, if shortage in a laying will be at the best one-two eggs.
Some kinds of owls form pair once and on all life, males of others look for every year to themselves a new female. Few owls twist to themselves nests, is much more often they occupy empty dwellings of other birds, use hollows in trees or other natural deepenings. Some kinds suit nests from grass and straw bunches. The African marsh owl nests on the earth, in the courses done in vegetation. Deserted kinds postpone eggs usually in the holes thrown by rodents.
Putting off of eggs
Having chosen a place for a nest, the owl can postpone in it with an interval in some days from one to 14 eggs. In comparison with chicken oval eggs, at owls they have more round form. Unlike many other birds, the female begins an incubation as soon as will postpone the first egg, therefore baby birds arise with an interval in some days and if the hard time comes, baby birds hatching later starve while seniors manage all food. Duration of an incubation at different kinds makes from 24 till 36 days. On eggs the female sits only, and the meal to it during this period is brought by the male.
Cubs are born helpless, with the eyes closed by a soft down and ears. It before at them the present feathers will start to appear, the secondary down cover - mezoptil will replace. Eyes, as a rule, open for the second week. I go to a nest - mice and polevok - only the male first brings, and the female does not leave kids, preserving them against overcooling. But in process of their growth their appetite increases also - and then the female too starts to depart to hunt.
Baby birds dare to get out of a nest depending on a kind on 3-Ю week of a life. At this time many of them not so are able or wish to fly, therefore there can be some more weeks not far from a nest. They are ready to reproduction approximately at one-year-old age.
Sipuhi are found almost in all corners of a planet, differing the widest among land birds a distribution area. Perhaps, as any other owl, sipuha lodges near to the person, rather often choosing as a day perch or a nest of a roof of barns, the sheds, the become empty houses or church towers.
At European - belogrudoj - sipuhi the most beautiful fluffy plumage on a back has colouring zheltovato-brown, with golden outflow and grey-white stains. The bottom part of a bird - white, sometimes with a yellowish shade on a breast, spotted with black specks, and the heart-shaped obverse oval and an internal part of wings are painted in pure white colour.
The Food allowance sipuhi consists of small rodents, but it can directly suffice from a nest and small birds, such as sparrows, or bats - if it is possible to catch them. This night hunter can, when the winter comes or it is necessary to feed baby birds, to go on hunting and in the afternoon. It carries extraction to a nest and there eats.
The reproduction Season in Europe usually begins in February-March, and not a rarity and two broods. Oblong eggs under the form, and in their laying can be 4-7, settle down in a convenient place somewhere on a roof or in a hollow tree. A nest sipuha itself does not twist, but covers the chosen place food katyshkami or occupies the nest twisted by another birds. The incubation lasts some days and at this time the male cares of a food of a female. When baby birds start to arise, it, doubling the speed, stacks at nest edge at once a little tushek rodents. After baby birds were deduced, the female splits up a shell and often it eats. While to kids 7-8 weeks they nests not яюъшфр¦=.