Adorable and magical-looking, owls are well-loved birds to admire from afar.
With their big round faces and eyes, and their big fluffy plumage, they are a truly fascinating bird to both look at and study.
But as with everything in science, we also need to learn about the full cycle when we make such explorations.
So today we are going to take an in-depth look at everything you need to know about owls’ egg, their breeding, nesting, other reproduction-related activities, and so on.
From what the eggs themselves look like to the incubation process, we are going in deep today! So strap on and get ready for the ride!
What Does An Owl Egg Look Like?
Generally, owl eggs are spherical in shape and have a pretty even coloring of white, with varying amounts of light speckling depending upon the species.
Based on the species, the eggs also might have a glossier finish as in Tawny owls or have a chalkier white tone as in barn owls.
The number of eggs can vary from just one to about a dozen, with the average number of species laying about 4 eggs in every clutch
How Big Is An Owl Egg?
Depending on the exact species of the owl, the size of an owl egg can range from just half an inch to about 3 inches.
The smallest owl, the elf owl (Micrathene whitneyi) lay about three eggs per clutch, each averaging a size from 26.8 x 23.2 mm to 29.9 x 25.0 mm.
On the other hand, the longest owl, the fierce and majestic Great Gray owl, lays eggs that average width of 1.68 inches and a length of about 2.11 inches.
Their usual clutch size is about four eggs that are an off-white color and have a chalky texture.
When Do Owls Lay Their Eggs?
The time period or season where owls lay their eggs is determined by a variety of conditions, a top one being the environmental conditions of the region.
Owls living in temperate regions generally commence the egg laying during mid-February, while for those residing in the tropical and subtropical environments, this commences a bit later, as in June, or the summer and fall months.
Though they don’t stick to as strict a schedule as other birds, owls commence the breeding season during the last weeks of the winter season in temperate regions.
In the tropics though, they don’t have a particular time but generally, do it towards the end of the dry season.
How Long Does It Take For Female Owls To Lay Their Eggs?
Female owls lay an average of between four and six eggs per clutch, and there are some species with a lower count of between 1 and 2.
There have also been reports of species wherein the number of eggs per clutch goes up to a dozen.
The female owls lay the eggs at an interval of between 2 and 3 days. Incubation generally begins with the first laid egg, hence the babies also hatch in the order that they are laid.
This may not always be the case though, as in the Pygmy owl (Glaucidium passerinum), where the incubation commences only with the laying of the final egg.
Can You Eat Owls’ Eggs? What Does It Taste Like?
If the question is whether they are edible, then yes, like any other bird egg, owl eggs are edible.
But whether you will ever be able to find out is the bigger question.
Owls are protected under several wildlife protection laws all around the world which prevents both them and their eggs from being consumed.
An example of such an act is the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 in the United States, which prohibits the handling, capturing, and consuming of owls as well as their eggs. Holding an owl in captivity can take a fine of up to $15,000!
As for the taste, speculations are that an owl’s egg tastes very similar to an ostrich or emu egg, which is a little more intense and sweeter than store-bought chicken eggs.
How Much Do Owl Eggs Cost?
As aforementioned the handling, stealing, capturing, and eating of owls and their eggs is completely prohibited under federal law, under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
But the demand for owl eggs is at an all-time high, with many cultures believing in the miraculous healing powers they possess.
A rough estimation of what the price could be for one single owl egg brought up an average of a few hundred dollars, at the minimum!
Can You Incubate Owl Eggs?
Incubating an egg and inducing it to hatch is technically raising an owl in captivity, and it is always better to stay on the safer side of the law with wildlife protection laws. Especially if the fine is such a hefty amount, like $15,000!
Your best bet is always to try and find a local shelter or an experienced and certified falconer so that they can decide the best way to move forward.
So that was everything you needed to know about owls and their eggs! The world of owls is a vast and curious place with so much to learn about, and we hope you enjoyed this little voyage into it.
We also hope that today’s venture taught you something new about these adorable birds and their lives!
Thank you for reading!
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