One of the Strigiforme birds
The Strigiforme is also known in Ornithology as The Strigiforme. This study will cover all the necessary parts of Ornithology in order to have a better view concerning this ordre.
Appearance and Behaviour
Strigiformes or owls have always held a strange fascination on man, revealing their presence after dark with hoots and hissings. Long victims of ridiculous prejudices, supposed bearers of curses, allies of sorcerers and witches, still mercilessly massacred, and even crucified centuries ago, nocturnal raptors are nevertheless among the most beautiful, the most endearing and the most affectionate of birds.
Presentation and behaviour
Equipped with a frontal vision and a round head adorned with ear-like-forms in owls – which are in fact only beam of feathers – they have a facet reminiscent of the human face. Their eyes are huge and up to 100 times more sensitive to light than the human eye. Distinguishing, it seems, rather poorly the colors, their immobility is compensated by an extreme flexibility of the neck which can turn more than 260°.
These birds have less capability in distinguishing close distances, but thanks to the vibrissae surrounding their beaks that the owls identify their prey. Hearing is also highly developed both in terms of the amplitude and the breadth of the range of perceived sounds. Like all raptors, owls have sharp talons, the outer fingers being able to move effortlessly forward or backward. The beak is hooked and long and it goes deep in the surrounding envelope of feathers and vibrissae (whiskers).
One of the Strigiforme birds
Their diet consists mainly of rodents and insects which these birds, valuable aids to agriculture, capture in considerable daily numbers.
Only the feathers, hair, bones, teeth and chitin of insects escape assimilation. These indigestible elements are rejected from their beaks two to three times a day in the form of a small cylindrical bag called rejection balls. Collected in the “dormitories” of these birds especially under the beams of attics, these balls can be easily dissected. All you need to do is place one in a pot of water and let it soften, and then gently peel it with two dissecting forceps. Separated from any hair and feathers, the bones and skulls are then immersed in hot water with the addition of sodium Perborate. These bones quickly turn white.
Owls live in pairs. They do not build nests, but sometimes use the burrows of mammals or abandoned constructions of other birds such as Corvidaes or raptors. Only the short-eared owl can occasionally make a fairly rough nest.
From pygmy owls which measure little more than 13 cm in length, to the lord of the night, the Eurasian Eagle-Owl – 1.50 to 1.80 m (0.60-0.70 inches) wingspan, weight: 2 to 3.3 kg -, nocturnal raptors are largely spread from the polar regions where the Great Snow Owl lives, to the deserts.
The order of owls is divided into two families: Owls or Tytonids, represented by 11 species, including 1 in Europe, and True Owls with 123 species in the world, including 12 in Europe.