Owls live all over the world in habitats that vary from the desert to the forest. Some prefer tree living, while others make their nests on the ground. More than two hundred species populate planet Earth, ranging widely in size and features. Consider this: the great horned owl can stand as tall as two feet, whereas the pygmy owl is lucky to reach seven inches. The wingspan of a Eurasian eagle-owl can measure six feet, while the burrowing owl uses wings that spread to just twenty inches to get around.
While it is generally assumed that owls are nocturnal, some hunt during the day, and some hunt whenever it makes sense to do so—depending on what’s available to eat! Owls are carnivores with excellent eyesight. They consume small critters that they espy while perching on tree branches or swooping low to the ground.
Owls have long been associated with wisdom, perhaps because their acute sense of sight gives them the ability to see things—especially in the dark—that we humans can’t see. What is certainly true is that these magnificent birds will always fascinate us with their intriguing faces, plumage, and sounds (they don’t all hoot, by the way—some of them shriek or growl!). You’ll get to know a lot of them in these pages, and perhaps be inspired to draw and color your own version of a real or imaginary owl.