Due to habitat loss as well as pesticides that poison the birds and their food supplies, close to a third of owl species worldwide are endangered, threatened or vulnerable according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

A few interesting facts I learned about owls:

  • There are more than 150 species of owls worldwide, only 19 owl species are found in North America, and more than 50 are considered endangered, threatened or vulnerable.
  • Owls have three eyelids: one for blinking, one for sleeping and one for cleaning the eye.
  • Owls can rotate their heads up to 270 degrees, but they cannot turn their heads all the way around.
  • Owls are considered cultural symbols – found in cave paintings in France, Egyptian hieroglyphics as well as Mayan art. Today, owl superstitions associate the birds with bad luck, death and stealing souls in many cultures.

Read more facts here and see the list of endangered owls here.

To find out more about how to help the world’s endangered and threatened owls, please visit Save Our Species and the National Wildlife Federation.

Barn Owl. Image Copyright Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium