What do owls eat?

By | March 1, 2018

An owl has a very diverse diet, since it can adapt to the local ecosystem and learns to feed on the locally available food. Owls are mostly predatory birds, and hunt their prey to eat it. They can hunt over a variety of locations, and hence the food that they eat naturally encompasses a wide range. Despite this, most owls have some food habits in common, and this mostly includes small mammals such as shrews, baby rabbits, moles, voles, and mice. These are the commonest staple food items of all owl species across the year, but different kinds of owls have a slightly different food habit. If you are planning to pet an owl, you must know its type to begin feeding it.

what do owls eat

Tawny owls

The tawny owl mostly feeds on wood mice, bank voles, and shrews. This is because these are the most commonly found animals they can hunt, given that these owl frequent areas such as deciduous woodlands, and they mostly build their nests in trees and abandoned buildings. These owls are also found in farmlands, where they hunt on field voles. They are also known to prey on and eat small birds, nestlings, and small vertebrates. Tawny owls are also known to prey on insects such as large beetles.

Long eared owls

The long eared owl lives in the woodlands. They prefer the conifer plantations which are usually denser, and it is easier for them to build their nests using tree sticks. These are only seen during the night, and hunt their prey by flying low over the ground. These birds feed mostly on field voles, although they are also known to prey on smaller animals, such as baby mice and rabbits. They usually steer clear of medium sized invertebrates, and are very much fond of wood mice. Small birds and nestlings are also eaten by the long eared owl, but that is mostly during the winter, when other food becomes scarce.

Barn owls

Barn owls are the one of the commonest species of owls that we come across on a regular basis. These are mostly seen in fields and in farmlands, and build nests in barns, hence the name. They are also seen around small woodlands, and hence their diet is the most varied of the lot. They mostly feed on the field vole, which is abundant in farmlands and small wooded areas. These birds are also known to feed on bank voles, rats, mice, shrews, and even small birds, although these for a very small part of their diet, usually when the field voles become scarce.

Pet owls

If you have a pet owl, it is best that you look into your nearest pet shop and see if they have anything in store. If you want to go organic, then you can give the owl almost anything the cat brings in. If you are feeding a rat or use the cat brought in, however, make sure no one used pest control poisons nearby. You can also opt for day old dead chicks, but make sure they are fresh, because you don’t want a bacterial buildup to be transmitted to your pet.

Also read: What do dragonflies eat?

An owl is a rewarding pet. They are pretty, quite tae if domesticated, and extremely loving. Even if you are not keeping one as a pet, it is always highly rewarding to be able to set up a bird feeder in your backyard especially for those birds. They never fail to bring an aura of mystery with them, and watching them closely will give you an otherworldly experience.

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