Families overview for this order

  • Large-headed owls with heart-shaped facial disc, long legs and strong feet, usually with well-developed talons; plumage generally brown through buff and cream to white, spotted, speckled or barred.
  • Almost cosmopolitan.
  • Wide variety of habitats, from dense forest to desert, as well as urban landscapes and towns; from cool temperate zone to tropics, and from sea-level up to c. 4000 m.
  • Large-headed nocturnal birds with strong, hooked bill, round facial disc, compact body, moderately short tail, and strong feet with sharp talons; plumage soft and cryptically coloured.
  • Cosmopolitan.
  • Virtually all terrestrial habitats, from Arctic to tropics; typically found from sea-level to c. 2000 m, but locally up to 4700 m.