Betcha Didn't Know About...Owls | Canoeroots Magazine | Rapid Media
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Betcha Didn't Know About...Owls Photo: istock/John Mann

Owls vary greatly in size, coloration and appearance, but all can turn their heads 270 degrees. This adaptation occurred because owls can’t move their eyes in their sockets.

Not all owls hoot—they make a wide range of sounds, including squawks, screeches, whistles, barks and hisses to communicate about territory and food. 

Hedwig, the snowy owl in the Harry Potter books and films, inspired many fans to purchase owls of their own. Unfortunately, bird sanctuaries in the U.K. began receiving abandoned owls once their owners became bored with their difficult to train, non-letter-carrying pets. 

Though owls are usually solitary, a group of owls is called a parliament. Whenever they get together it’s a real hoot—get it?

Beloved Winnie The Pooh character, Owl, is known for his wisdom and intelligence. His character is a great example of the way Western culture anthropomorphizes the owl, which began with the ancient Greeks who associated the owl with the goddess of wisdom, Athena. 

Many cultural superstitions paint the owl as a bad omen. In Cherokee culture, tradition says that if an owl flies overhead during the day a loved one will perish.

One, two-HOO, three, CRUNCH. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? Mr. Owl could never contain himself long enough to answer the question properly.

The largest owl species is Blakiston’s fish owl. Females, which are about 25 percent larger than males, can weigh up to 10 pounds and are 24 to 28 inches tall. These owls live in the old growth trees of eastern Russia and China. Hoo knew?

Kaydi Pyette's article on owls was originally published in the 2014 Summer/Fall issue of CanoerootsThis article first appeared in the Summer/Fall 2014 issue of Canoeroots Magazine. For more great boat reviews, subscribe to Canoeroots's print and digital editions here.

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