Typically we think of birds as the type to survive on seeds and other vegetation. While that is true for many birds but not owls. Owls are carnivorous and hunt their prey which includes small rodents like mice, hares, and rats. There are also species of owls that also hunt fish.
Owls hunting habits are based on their environment. Which means that their prey will vary based on the region as will their hunting methods. But even so, there are some characteristics that are shared among the species. It is their unique make-up that allows an owl to be a fierce hunter.
How Owls Hunt
The majority of owls have the ability to fly silently which gives them a distinct advantage over their prey. Their silent flight can be attributed to their feathers. Owls have larger feathers in comparison to most birds. Coupled with the serrated edges at the end of their wings, owls flapping is reduced and nearly noiseless. Prey are unaware that they are being hunted until the owl has them in their grasp.
Owls are nocturnal creatures and do most of their hunting at night. They are one of the few nocturnal birds that rely on their vision to hunt. One characteristic of an owl is their large and their size is the reason why they can see their prey in the dark. Owls eyes are tube shaped because they are a large eye in a small skull. It does not allow them to move their eyes but they can swivel their heads and pinpoint prey from a large distance.
When they cannot see their prey, owls rely on their hearing. The placement of their ears tends to be asymmetrical which allows them to pinpoint their prey just through their hearing. An owl will turn their head until the sound reaches both ears at the same time.
Talons and Beak
While their vision and sight are important in tracking the prey, it is the strength of their talons and beak that allows them to capture their prey. Depending on the size of the owl and the size of their prey, an owl’s talons possess an impressive amount of strength. The sharpness of their claws and beak allow an owl to grasp and kill their prey with ease.
Learning about owls is nothing short of astonishing. Continue to learn with owl pellets that give insight to an owl’s hunting habits. For more information about owl pellets, visit pellets.com