Baby Owls – 13 Pictures with Facts

Babies of any species look very cute. Even the baby owls also look beautiful. Owls have a charming, fluffy doll-like baby. In fact, they look so innocent and attractive that is it actually difficult to think that they will grow up and become like their parents. They look too harmless to become hunters after they become adults.

Anyone who reads this will want to see these baby owls immediately. But, that is not so easy. Why is it so difficult? Well, since owls are nocturnal, they are active only during the night. This makes it impossible to see them when we are up and about.

Added to this, is the brilliance of nature. The owls are aware of the many predators who can destroy their babies. So, to protect them from such dangers, the owls conceal their babies very well and keep them hidden. This, in addition to the first reason, makes it very difficult to actually see these babies.

What are Baby Owls ?

The baby owl is a small and delicate creature that is often overlooked. It has soft brown feathers and big round eyes that make it irresistible to many. Baby owls are usually born in the late spring or early summer, and they can be found in many parts of North America.

They are a part of the raptor family, and they are known for their hunting skills. Baby owls typically stay with their parents for several months, learning how to hunt and survive in the wild. The babies of many birds are called chicks. However, baby owls differ in this aspect. They have a special name and are called owlets. The reason behind this name is really not clear but this name is liked a lot generally.

There are some birds that have different names for the males and females of the species like the swan. Male and female owls are not like swans in this aspect. Both the male and the female share the same name – owl.

What is The Color of An Owl Egg ?

All birds lay eggs and the young ones are hatched from the eggs. The owls also are no different from this. Baby owls hatch out of eggs. Some bird eggs are differently colored but the owl eggs are plain white. The season when owls lay eggs is in late January or February.

Owls make safe and comfortable nests and then lay their eggs in the nest. These nests are made out of owl pellets. Since the eggs lie on this, they become dirty after some time.

Different bird species follow different methods of hatching their eggs. Ducks and geese are different from owls in this. Owls do not hatch all their eggs at the same time as ducks and geese. Owls hatch their eggs at different times. Usually, there is a gap of two days.

We know that there is a gap between the hatching of eggs but we do not really know why this happens and how this benefits the birds. However, the reason could be so that the chick that hatches first gets the best opportunity to survive. Another reason that is assumed is that there may be problems because of lack of food. When this happens, the gap between the hatching of eggs comes in handy. Before the other chicks hatch, the first one is big enough to stop predatory activities due to lack of food.

There is one kind of owl that is an exception to this rule. They are called Pygmy owls and they do not give a gap between the hatching of eggs. The eggs of the Pygmy owls are all hatched at the same time.

There is a difference in the way ducks and geese and owls incubate their eggs. Usually, birds lay a maximum of only one egg in one day. The eggs need to be incubated well in order to hatch. Ducks and geese do not start incubating the eggs until all the eggs are laid. Owls have a very different habit. Many of them start incubating their eggs as soon as they lay them.

 How long does it take to hatch these eggs? Eggs normally hatch only 3 to 5 weeks after being laid. The exact time for this differs with different kinds of owls.

How Many Eggs The Owl Lays?

Just like all bodily processes need food, laying eggs also depends on the availability of food. If there is not too much food, lesser eggs are laid sometimes even as less as 1. If there is a lot of food available, owls can lay up to 14 eggs also. So the number of eggs laid every year depends on the availability of prey.

The male of the species does not have the responsibility of incubating the eggs. This responsibility rests with the females. She has to sit on the eggs to keep them warm and incubate them. As she sits on the eggs, the female owl tends to lose the feathers in her belly. This is a natural process that happens in order to make the eggs warmer against her skin instead of against her feathers.

Since there is a gap between the eggs hatching, the first one may hatch first and then the last egg may hatch only after 14 days!

Are Owls Good At Building Nests ?

It is quite surprising that owls that are birds are not really very efficient at making nests. In fact, barn owls prefer to lay their eggs on top of owl pellets which have accumulated for years to build their own nests.

There is an easier way out and many owls make use of this method. They simply lay their eggs on old nests made by other birds. For instance, they even use holes made in trees by woodpeckers.

The Great horned owls use readymade old nests in trees and in cliffs. These nests were made and used by hawks or crows in all probability.

Woodpeckers do not make holes only in trees. They also make holes in cacti and this becomes convenient for the Elf owl which uses these holes as their own nests.

There are owls that are called burrowing owls but the truth is that these owls do not have anything to do with burrowing. In fact, they find it easier to use tunnels that are made by ground squirrels, badgers or prairie dogs.

All that the short-eared owl or snowy owl does is scrape a small dip in the ground.

All these facts about different owls prove beyond doubt that owls do not nest builders by nature.

What is The Color of a Baby Owl When They Born

Do you know that baby owls look different when they are born and change as they get older? When they are born, they are covered with soft, white down feathers. As they grow up, after a few days, these white feathers are swapped for darker feathers.

There is another thing that happens with the down too. When they are born, the down is wet. But, as time goes by, all the wetness disappears and it becomes dry. When this happens, the down becomes fluffy. When baby owls are born, their skin and legs are the same color – pink

As these baby owls grow older, develop feathers and learn to fly, they grow the most important feathers they will need as adults. This does not mean that they lose all their down feathers. A few of them still remain on top of their heads. As they grow up, all these down feathers vanish completely.  To give an example of what happens, barn owls continue to have wispy feathers for 55 days. However, by the time they are about 65 days old, they lose all these feathers.

Baby Owls are Born Blind ?

Many young ones in the animal world are born with their eyes closed. However, baby owls are born completely blind. Added to this is the fact that they cannot move on their own. This means that they are not at all capable of doing anything on their own and also that they cannot be left unattended even for a short while. And who knows this better than the mother? So, the mother owl sits by the side of her babies and never leaves them alone until they get better.

So, how long are they like this? Well, not for a long time luckily. They are in this state for a couple of weeks after they are born. They are not mobile and are not at all capable of keeping away the cold. This process of not being fully developed and not being mobile as soon as they are born has a name. It is called altricial.

We may be surprised by these facts, but the truth is that this is pretty common in nature. The babies of many other birds, such as eagles, woodpeckers, hawks, herons, and almost all the songbirds are born like this.

Development happens consistently and by day 3, these little baby owls are able to lift up their heads. They continue developing fast and by day 6, they can even snap their beaks. They also start making pellets.

Needless to say, the mother bird brings food to the nest for the babies. But, for the first 20 days after they are born, even if food is brought to the nest, the babies do not feed. It is only after the first 20 days that they develop the capacity to start eating the food that is brought to them.

Baby Owls Sleep Face down

There are many things like this that are very interesting about baby owls and the way they sleep is another one of these interesting facts. These baby owls do not sleep like the other birds. In fact, the way they sleep is uncommon and amusing. They sleep with their face down. And this is entirely due to the fact that they have really heavy heads. They find it very difficult to keep their heads up as they are so heavy and so find this position really comfortable.

They follow this style of sleeping irrespective of the place they sleep in. They tend to sleep on branches often and even there, they sleep the same way. On a branch, they usually slump over. But, to avoid falling down when they sleep, they hold on tightly to the branch using their talons.

Researchers studied not only the way they sleep but also the pattern of their sleep. They have found out that the owls have REM sleep. This is the kind of sleep that we have when we dream. This means that baby owls have dreams! It will be really fascinating to know what they dream of!

How Many Months Baby Owls Stay With Their Parents ?

There are different stages that a baby owl goes through right from the time the egg is laid. After hatching and a lot of development, the baby owls become fledglings. At this stage, they have wings and are learning to fly. It can, however, take up to 2 months for a baby owl to reach this stage.

Even after they reach this stage, baby owls do not immediately take off on their own. They still remain close to their original house, the nest, and also depend on their parents for their food.

This continues for some time and the parents keep bringing food for the fledglings till about 5 months after they have fledged. So, totally, the parents take care of their young ones for roughly around 9 months after they lay eggs.

What is the Size of a Baby Owl When They are Born?

Baby owls are little miniatures of the adults and are really small compared to the adults. When we look at them as babies and think of the size that they will grow up to, it is rather unbelievable. When they are born, they are only about 2.5 inches long and are very vulnerable. But, after they have developed into fully grown adults, they can be huge compared to the size of the babies. For instance, an adult snowy owl can grow to be about 2.5 feet!

What Does Baby Owls Eat?

As long as the baby owls are able to fend for themselves, the parents will procure food for them. They do not stop doing just that. They also rip up the food for the babies and give it to them in a readily eatable form. Meat is the staple food of the baby owls and their diet consists of mammals, birds, and reptiles.

I believe that you appreciated reading some incredible facts about owls from this article. There are many interesting facts about other baby birds too. Do check out the other articles about other baby birds also.

When can baby owls fly?

When can baby owls fly? The answer to that question is a bit complicated, as it depends on the species of owl. Baby barred owls, for example, can start flying when they are about 8 weeks old. While baby great horned owls typically don’t start flying until they are about 12 weeks old.

Baby owls learn to fly by practicing in the nest. They will start by flapping their wings and then gradually work up to gliding and flying. What determines when baby owls can fly is a combination of things, including their age, weight, and wingspan.

About the author

Hi, I'm Andrew. I am a highly experienced birder with a passionate interest in bird behavior and ecology. I have worked extensively with both captive and wild birds, conducting research on their natural history, physiology, and conservation. My work has taken me all over the world, and I have been lucky enough to observe some of the rarest and most exclusive species on earth. I am also an experienced teacher, having taught ornithology at both the college and high school levels.

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