Life Cycle of an Owl: Lesson for Kids

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rachel Torrens

Rachel obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Grove City College. She then earned her Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Nursing from Thomas Jefferson University. For over 8 years, Rachel has practiced as a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, and taught science to elementary aged students.

In this lesson, learn the exciting life cycle of the owl. Experience each stage in detail as we follow an owl from egg to hatchling to nestling to fledgling to adult!

It's the Circle of Life

Every living thing follows a circular journey through life, known as a life cycle. A small tree sprouts, grows tall, drops seeds, and from those seeds a new tree sprouts. It's the same with you! You were a baby, then a toddler, now a child. Eventually you'll be a teenager, then an adult. As an adult you may have a baby, and the cycle starts again. So let's examine each step of an owl's journey through life.

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  • 0:04 It's the Circle of Life
  • 0:43 The Egg Came First
  • 1:26 The Young Owl
  • 2:54 A Fledgling
  • 3:36 All Grown Up: The Adult Owl
  • 3:52 Lesson Summary
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The Egg Came First

An adult male and female owl will mate. Then the adult female owl will lay eggs. The number of eggs laid depends upon the type of owl. Larger owl types will lay only one or two eggs, whereas smaller owl types may lay over ten eggs. On average, an owl lays around three or four eggs over a period of a couple days.

The female owl usually tends to the eggs, keeping them warm for around thirty days. Because the eggs were laid over several days, the baby owls will likewise hatch over several days.

The Young Owl

Once it emerges from its egg, the new owl will go through several stages.

First, the owl is a hatchling. A hatchling is any animal newly hatched from its shell. In this case, it is a tiny baby owl! Hatchlings do not have feathers, but are covered in a fluffy substance called down. The hatchling is much like a human infant; it is not able to see well, takes lots of naps, and is completely dependent upon its parents for food. In fact, the parents may feed the baby owl over 10 times in one day, tearing larger pieces of prey into smaller bits so the hatchling can eat it.

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