With their big eyes and many distinguishing features, owls demand our attention.

Owls are rather unusual in the bird kingdom. They have huge eyes that are fixed in their sockets, and feathers that help form flatter, more rounded faces than other bird species — faces that we humans can’t seem to resist. So, we’re going to indulge ourselves. Meet 18 owls with an abundance of cuteness and attitude.

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Long-eared owl

The long-eared owl is a bit of a squatter as it prefers to take over other birds’ abandoned nests. (Photo: Bernard Stam/flickr)

Found in North America, Europe and Asia, the long-eared owl takes up residence in the abandoned nests of similarly sized birds such as hawks, ravens or magpies.

Barn owl

There are more than 22 different barn owl species. (Photo: Tony Hisgett/flickr)

That heart-shaped face is characteristic of barn owls. This species is not only the most widespread owl species, but also one of the most widespread of any bird species. So, it is no wonder that it has more than 22 other names, including ghost owl, death owl, hissing owl and delicate owl.

Spectacled owl

This rain forest-dwelling owl isn’t afraid to take on prey larger than itself. (Photo: randy stewart/flickr)

A resident of southern Mexico, Central America and parts of South America, the spectacled owl prefers living in dense, old-growth rain forests. It preys on small mammals that are active at night, though it can take down prey larger than itself, including a three-toed sloth.

Oriental bay owl

The Oriental Bay owl favors hollows trees and stumps for its nests. (Photo: jtairat/Shutterstock)

This unusual looking owl can be found throughout Southeast Asia. It is part of the barn owl family, one of two families of owl, the other being “typical” or “true” owls.

Eastern screech owl

Despite its name, this owl doesn’t screech all that often. (Photo: Action Sports Photography/Shutterstock)

Found throughout eastern North America from Canada to Mexico, this short and stocky species has a misleading name. It doesn’t actually screech but makes a descending tremolo call. Still, it is usually heard rather than seen.

Snowy owl

The snowy owl is a heavy bird, but flies swiftly. (Photo: Kayo/Shutterstock)

While it is primarily found in the Arctic tundra of North America, Europe and Asia, these snowy-speckled birds will sometimes visit the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. It is one of the largest owl species, and it is the heaviest.

Eurasian eagle owl

The Eurasian eagle owl will eat just about anything. (Photo: jurra8/Shutterstock)

One of the largest owl species, the Eurasian eagle owl is larger than the snowy owl, with a wingspan of 5 to 6 feet. A powerful predator, it is not a picky eater, consuming everything from small mammals to snakes and other reptiles, and even larger prey like foxes or similarly sized birds like geese and other owl species.

Tawny owl

Tawny owls rely heavily on their vision and excellent hearing to pinpoint prey. (Photo: Peter Trimming/flickr)

The tawny owl is one of the most common owls in England, but it is rarely seen due its nocturnal nature.

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