Owl Legs Explained: All Facts You Must Know

Owl Legs

Owls are definitely some interesting creatures on earth. We tend to talk a lot about these birds in general, in literature, and in symbolism.

They are neither in abundance nor in scarcity and there is a balanced proportion in which humans are aware of owls but are also a mystery about certain things regarding these birds. 

We all know how owls generally look, no matter how few times we ourselves have encountered an owl in our own lives.

With huge alarming eyes that take up all the attention, striking plumages, and powerful talons, we however often manage to ignore the fact that owls have feet too! 

Once you realize that you are absolutely unaware of how their feet look, because of how rarely such are visible in the visual representation of the birds, mainly because of their heavy down coats that entirely hide their legs.

So In this article, I’ll explain all the facts about owl legs that people barely even talk about.

How Long or Short Are Owl Legs?

When you are unaware of the mere existence of owl’s feet, this can be the greatest point of curiosity for you, mainly regarding the basic structure of owl legs.

Well, owl legs can be as long as half the length of an owl’s body, interesting and mysterious enough right? 

However, this can vary largely from one species to another, among all the 200 existing species of the bird, ranging from tiny to huge sizes.

Why Do Owls have long legs, What’s the significance?

Now as we already know that owls do have long legs, we also must know why these birds have long legs, what’s the utility of it? 

Owl legs are not just long, but also quite powerful, serving an important purpose along with their slightly amusing appearance. 

We all are mostly informed that owls’ talons are of great utility to these birds for the purpose of capturing, preying, and killing.

But does it sound quite logical that only talons by themselves can solve the entire purpose? Definitely not. 

Hence exactly why their structure offers them a backup plan of strong feet to help them hunt food for their survival.

Along with strength, the stretch and flexibility to extend a few inches is also a perk of their feet.

Do all Owls have similar long legs?

Just as mentioned above, owls exist in 200 different species of several different sizes. Hence, it’s impossible that all these species have similar long legs.

Thus, what does the length of the legs of an owl depend on largely?

The factor that basically determines how long an owl’s feet is the length, size, and height of the bird itself. Eagle Owl, namely the largest existing species of Owls, also has the longest legs of all the species, around 20-30 cm, hence explaining the entire idea.

What Are Owls Legs Called?

The world of fauna specialists has curated names for literally everything which has anything of significance associated with it. 

But, that’s not the case for owl’s legs as they simply solve the purpose they should. So it’s just “owl legs!”

Do Owls have Knees?

Obviously, they have knees. Imagine a pair of legs as long as 20-30 cm with no knees, such a waste!

Owl legs have patella or kneecaps that are covered by feathers in most species, hiding their existence.

These knees are also at times mistaken as ankles due to their position towards the end of the legs rather than the middle.

Birds’ legs have different structures and hence their knees need to be downwards rather than in between.

How Do Owls Use Their Legs?

Yes, they definitely do cover all the basic “legs” purposes. From walking, and running to even walking backward, owl legs facilitate all these functions. 

However, owls rarely participate in these terrestrial activities and prefer perching and flying from one place to another, rather than using the cumbersome process, reducing the practical applicability for the same.

It basically comes to function when the birds are injured or their flight is hampered.

Also, people are less aware of the speed that owls are capable of using their legs and hence it’s still up to enough evaluation and discovery. 

Such being said, Burrowing Owls are a species who are however spotted running while indulged in hunting and are observed to possess a great speed during the same, justifying the strength and flexibility of their legs.

They also have great balance on their feet, enabling them to walk in all directions quite easily.

Hence, even though owl legs and owls using their legs are both rare sights, it’s not implied that the owls don’t have functional legs or do not ever use their legs.

Being already a creature out of too much human sight, we don’t see owls indulging in any activity as such, not even hunting.

But does that in any way sound logical to assume that they probably don’t hunt? Definitely not. 

Owl legs are thus of great significance to the birds and a great deal of discovery for us humans, who take interest in fauna and their lifestyles.

Related Articles You May Like

Scroll to Top