Species: S. Varia
◈ They hunt by swooping down from a high perch, and grabbing the prey in their talons. They ingest the whole animal, which is then digested by the stomach acid. The undigested parts are regurgitated in the form of a pellet.
◈ Once the eggs hatch, the juveniles are cared for by the parents for a period of 4-6 months, during which they crawl and learn to fly. Juveniles possess the ability to climb trees. They do so by grabbing on to the bark of the tree with their beak and talons, while flapping their wings. Once a juvenile loses its down, there is hardly any difference between its appearance and that of an adult. The juveniles start flying at six weeks, and are capable of reproducing when they are 2 years old. These owls live to an age of 13 years in the wild and may live up to 23 years in captivity.
- Strix varia varia
- Strix varia georgica
- Strix varia helveola
- Strix varia sartorii
These species can be differentiated based on their coloring and extent of feathering.
◈ They compete with the spotted owl species for food, and hence are endangering them.
◈ Their mating with the spotted owls produces an offspring called sparred owl.
◈ Arabic culture regards owls as being evil, while according to western culture, owls signify wisdom.
◈ They are listed as a Least Concern (LC) species by the IUCN