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.