Among all the different types of birds that exist, we find the order Strigiformes, which is itself divided into two families: Strigidae, in which the owls are found, and Tytonidae, in which the owls are found. These families differ mainly in certain anatomical characteristics, in their diversity, the first family being much more numerous than the second, and in their distribution, which in the case of the Strigidae is also much wider than that of the owls.
In this article of PlanèteAnimal we will focus about what the owl eats. Although the names owl and owl are often used interchangeably, from our introduction you already know that they belong to different families. In this article, therefore, we will focus on the food of the owl.
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Are owls carnivorous?
Before seeing what the owl eats, we must begin by defining its type of diet. Owls, like owls, are a raptor bird, so their diet is based on catching other animals and, therefore, YES, owls are carnivores.
These birds have several special characteristics that make them very effective predators. On the one hand, they have super-powerful claws that help them to handle prey with agility, which can be much bigger than them. On the other hand, they also have overdeveloped senses, especially sight, and so they are able to hunt in total darkness. Another of their developed senses is hearing, which is extremely sensitive and allows them to detect their prey with disconcerting ease.
Finally, several species of owls have adapted feathers that make the bird super quiet when flying.
What does a baby owl eat?
At birth, the baby owls are totally dependent on their parents, so the latter will absolutely have to feed them and, as we already know, they are carnivorous birds. Although there may be some particularities between owl species when it comes to feeding and protecting hatchlings, generally speaking it is the male who goes on the hunt to bring dead prey back to the nest. . The female then breaks the food into pieces to give to the chicks. Only in some cases is the male primarily responsible for feeding the chicks.
In this regard, the baby owls eat pieces of meat offered by their parents. The food consumed will depend on the type of prey available in the habitat.
How to feed a baby owl?
In some areas, it may happen to find baby owls that have fallen from the nest or who, when they learn to fly, and are unable to do so for long distances, fail to reach a tree or get close to their parents. If you have found a baby owl, after making sure it is safe, we recommend that you wait a bit to see if its parents come to get it.
If not, what if we find a baby owl? You must pick it up with a rag and then take it to a wildlife recovery center, reserve or shelter where it will be welcomed and cared for. But if it’s too late and you have to bring it home, you’re going to have to feed it.
You need to start by regulating the temperature of the space where he will live. Remember that he is a baby and therefore sensitive to environmental conditions. Using a syringe, you can give him something to drink to prevent him from becoming dehydrated, you must go little by little to avoid drowning him.
But… how do you feed a baby owl? Keep in mind that you are going to have to try to feed him like his parents would, that is, you will have to feed him ground and ground meat.
Here’s what you can feed your baby owl:
- Fresh ground chicken with carcass and skin
- rabbit meat
- Other ground poultry meat with part of the carcass and skin
Owls are not domestic birds, yes, they are very delicate animals that should always live in their habitat and in the wild. This is why, at PlanèteAnimal, we recommend that you follow the recommendations mentioned above and then take the baby owl to a professional center which will release it when the time comes.
What does an owl eat?
Owls, as carnivorous animals, base their diet on catching different types of prey. These will vary depending on their availability in the environment in which the owls live. The size and type of prey also vary depending on the owl’s abilities. Some can even catch medium-sized mammals and pets. As you will have understood, if you live in the countryside near owls, we recommend that you keep an eye on your cat and your small dog.
In summary, here is what the owl eats:
- field mouse
- brown waffle
- Other birds
The eagle owl is one of the most widespread and popular owls, which is why there is great interest in its diet. This is why we talk about it in more detail in the following article: Feeding the eagle owl
Now that you know absolutely everything about owl food and how to feed a baby owl in case you find one, we invite you to take a look at the following articles:
If you want to read more articles like What does the owl eat?we recommend that you consult the Balanced Diets section.
- Cholewiak, D. (2003). Strigidae. Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved June 23, 2022 from https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Strigiae/
- Cholewiak, D. (2003). Tytonidae. Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved June 23, 2022 from https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Tytonidae/
- ITIS (2022). Strigiformes. Available at: https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=177848#null
What does the OWL eat? – All about OWL FOOD!