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Many owls in the Guardians of Ga'hoole series are native to North America

Owls are birds comprising the order Strigiformes, which includes about two hundred species of mostly solitary and nocturnal birds of prey typified by an upright stance, a large, broad head, binocular vision, binaural hearing, sharp talons, and feathers adapted for silent flight. Owls are divided into two families: the true owls or typical owls, Strigidae; and the barn-owls, Tytonidae.

Approximately 29 different species of owls are mentioned in the Guardians of Ga'hoole series, although some do not appear as characters.

All owl species mentioned in Guardians of Ga'hoole

Tytonidae

Genus: Tyto

The Barn Owls, heart-shaped face, long legs, long wings, dark eyes.

Genus: Phodilus

The Bay Owls, small, with V-shaped faces.

Strigidae

Genus: Strix

The Earless Owls or Wood Owls, round heads, robustly built, hooting vocalization. Strix is Latin for "owl", but it also referred to a mythical vampiric owl-monster. Until the late 19th century, many other owls were included in this genus.

Genus: Bubo

The Horned Owls and Eagle-Owls, generally large and powerful, most with ear-tufts. Bubo is Latin for the Eurasian Eagle-Owl.

Genus: Aegolius

The Forest Owls or Saw-whet Owls, small with relatively long wings, and large round heads. Aegolius is Latin for "screech owl", but is derived from a Greek word meaning "a bird of ill omen".

Genus: Megascops

The Screech Owls, once part of the genus Otus, they were eventually split into their own genus. They are restricted to the Americas. All relatively small, with erect ear-tufts, and short, rounded wings. Megascops means "great watcher".

Genus: Asio

The Eared Owls, medium-sized with long wings, and feather tufts that give the appearance of ears. Asio means "eared owl".

Genus: Athene

The Little Owls, short tails, rounded wings, yellow eyes. Athene is derived from the Greek goddess Athena, who was often depicted with an owl.

Genus: Micrathene

Only one species, the world's smallest owl, short tail and long legs.

Genus: Glaucidium

The Pygmy Owls, very small, with rounded heads, and relatively powerful talons.

Genus: Ketupa

The Fish Owls, rather large and powerful, with horizontal ear-tufts. Sometimes placed in Bubo. Ketupa is a generic name for Fish Owl species from Java or India.

Genus: Surnia

Only one species, completely diurnal, medium-sized with long, pointed wings.

Genus: Psiloscops

Only one species, once part of the genus Otus, but despite similarities, it's not related to the Scops Owls or Screech Owls.

Genus: Otus

The Scops Owls, relatively small, with ear-tufts, and short, rounded wings.


How Species are Portrayed in the Series

General owl size chart. Sizes may vary per individual. Art created by user Dorkryptos.

In the series, some species of owls share similar personality traits and stereotypes.

Barn Owls

Barn Owls are renowned for their extraordinary sense of hearing. The Pure Ones, the main antagonists of the series, are an organization of Tytonidae owls who believe Barn Owls are superior to all other owl species.

In chapter 19 at the bottom of pg.188 of The Journey, Madame Plonk remarks that Soren is "most unusual for a Barn Owl", perhaps suggesting that Barn Owls are not inherently creative thinkers.

Spotted Owls

Spotted Owls are portrayed as being very proud. Many come from prestigious families in the Northern Kingdoms. They are sensitive to pressure differentials in the atmosphere, which has a habit of making them fussy and finicky. They're portrayed as being very knowledgable in many different fields.

Great Horned Owls

Great Horned Owls are stereotyped as being impulsive, as mentioned by Grank in reference to Theo.

Snowy Owls

Snowy Owls are stereotyped as being stubborn, as mentioned by Grank when describing Myrrthe.

Trivia

Several owl species are either only mentioned, or only appear as one-off characters with no name.

  • The Capture: Soren mentions Bay Owls living in Tyto, but none have ever appeared as characters.
  • The Siege: while the Chaw of Chaws is infiltrating St. Aggie's, an Eastern Screech Owl who just received his new name, Mook, gives the speech about how questions are forbidden.
  • The Burning: a Flammulated Owl, who is a member of the Frost Beaks, teaches Gylfie and Martin how to fight with ice splinters. It's mentioned that all Flammulated Owls speak in low and somewhat mellow whoops.
  • The War of the Ember: a young Scops Owl (most likely a Eurasian Scops Owl) lieutenant from the Frost Beaks arrives to deliver a message to Coryn.
  • Lost Tales of Ga'Hoole: as Fritha flies through kraal territory to visit her father, she passes by what she guesses was a Long-eared Owl, but as it was painted in at least five different colors, it could've been a Striped Owl.
  • A Guide Book to the Great Tree: Otulissa talks about how on her first Punkie Night, she wore a mask to look like a Rufescent Screech Owl.

References

Wikipedia - Owl

The Owl Pages

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