What Do Great Horned Owls Eat?

The wonderful horned owl is a effective fowl of prey with distinct options, straight out of a children’s photograph e-book. These smart previous owls have extended tufts of feathers on the sides of their heads, large yellow eyes, and deep voices for hooting. 

Fantastic horned owls, or hoot owls, are distributed across North and South The usa. Even so, it is rare to catch sight of them. Usually, you will come across them perched on a tree limb or hiding in a rocky cave. 

This owl species is hugely adaptable and lives, hunts, and eats all in excess of the Americas, like Alaska.  

So, what do excellent horned owls consume? Find out below!

What Do Excellent Horned Owls Try to eat?

What Do Owls Eat image
Wonderful horned owls take in compact mammals, birds, bugs, and reptiles.


Wonderful horned owls try to eat modest mammals, birds, bugs, and reptiles. 

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The excellent horned owl eats a various food plan based on its spot. On the other hand, small mammals make up most of these owls’ foods resources. It will hunt for mice, rats, floor squirrels, and rabbits for the duration of wintertime. 

These fierce predators will normally prey on birds, which include scaled-down owls. You can anticipate to see fantastic horned owls feasting on geese, hawks, and ducks, particularly in the northern area of the Americas. 

Even though these owls seldom consume fish and amphibians, some might just take benefit of the plentiful and prepared provide if it nests around water sources. 

Insects and reptiles finish this bird’s perfectly-well balanced meals. It is not uncommon for fantastic horned owls to dine on snakes and scorpions.

A Complete Record of Food items Excellent Horned Owls Eat

A record of the most prevalent foods terrific horned owls take in:

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Squirrels
  • Rabbits
  • Snowshoe hares
  • Opossums
  • Skunks
  • Hawks
  • crows
  • Small owls
  • Ducks
  • Geese
  • Snakes
  • Frogs
  • Lizards
  • Bugs
  • Scorpions
  • Often fish

Even though fantastic horned owls stick with lesser prey, they can lift mammals and birds up to 15 lbs! 

These owls usually have much less food possibilities for the duration of the wintertime and will hunt what is quickly obtainable, these as snowshoe hares and specific birds.

How Does a Terrific Horned Owl Hunt?

why do owls hoot at night
A fantastic horned owl flies wholly silent, swooping down to grab its prey.

Imran Ashraf/W3educational institutions

Fantastic horned owls are birds of prey and are intense and superb hunters. These birds threaten quite a few creatures in the animal kingdom and appear outfitted with specialized features for hunting. 

These birds are nocturnal and hunt largely at night time and in the course of dusk. Its eyesight is exceptional in lower-gentle circumstances, and its hearing is sensitive to compact prey. 

A single of the important pros this predator has around other birds like hawks is that it flies wholly silent. Its large, serrated wings don’t generate noise and enable the owl to glide slow and free of charge of seem. 

Its prey will not know it’s coming until it’s much too late. One undetected swoop and mammals are caught in the owl’s sturdy talons with no way to escape. A pressure of 28 lbs is desired to open the wonderful horned owl’s claws. This death grip rapidly severs the backbone of its meals. 

These predators watch for their evening meal by sitting down perched on tree limbs or fence posts and swooping down low above fields. With prey in sight, it reaches out with its talons and tightly grasps keep.

Who Competes with Fantastic Horned Owls for Meals?

A beautiful Ural Owl flying over snow.
Birds of prey contend for foods and nesting spots.

Wang LiQiang/W3schools

Terrific horned owls are around the top rated of the foods chain, but that doesn’t mean they do not have to compete for their meals. 

Other owl species, hawks, and eagles eat a related eating plan to good horned owls. Birds of prey contend for food items and nesting spots regularly. Nevertheless, the fantastic horned owl employs numerous methods to prevent opposition.

Searching at night would make it a lot easier for terrific horned owls to get foodstuff and keep other birds from obtaining prey first. It will also eat its food total and quickly (until looking for its youthful) to protect against other folks from stealing.

How Does Their Diet regime Impression Other Species?

Wonderful horned owls assist harmony the ecosystem by taking in rodents and other pests.

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The good horned owl is a predator and controls the inhabitants of tiny animals. These owls enjoy an necessary job in balancing the ecosystem by ingesting rodents and other pests. 

Rodents like mice and rats try to eat and spoil a staggering sum of crops all through the United States and the world. Rodents can also cause structural destruction to households and other structures. Terrific horned owls assistance hold rodent figures down, which is very useful to people. 

Right before you think about attracting these majestic predators to your residence, you might want to rethink if you have compact animals like chickens, cats, and pet dogs. Try to remember, wonderful horned owls hunt prey that weighs considerably far more than they do.

What Do Distinct Sorts of Owls Eat?

Are Owls Mammals
Owls are opportunistic hunters and eat what is readily available in their geographic place.

Out of all the North American raptors, the good horned owl has the most assorted eating plan. Its beloved food items contain snowshoe hares, mice, rabbits, squirrels, and other birds. But not all owls share the exact diet program. 

Screech owls (quick, stalky birds) favor bugs, slugs, snails, and amphibians. In comparison, significant species like the eagle owl will hunt foxes, ducks, and rabbits. 

Owl diets count mainly on their spot and the properties of their bodies. Owls are opportunistic hunters and will hunt for readily available meals in their geographic area. Smaller domesticated animals like cats and dogs can even turn out to be prey if the opportunity arises.

What Do Toddler Good Horned Owls Eat?

Little one good horned owls are carnivores like their mom and dad and will take in no matter what is furnished. The older people (male and female) provide back again distinctive meat resources to the nests for their younger. 

A baby’s diet regime typically contains small mammals, reptiles, birds, worms, insects, and fish. The toddlers can fly out of the nest all over 9 to 10 weeks but will however be fed and cared for by the mom and dad for quite a few much more months.

Do Excellent Horned Owls Have Any Predators?

Bobcats are a great horned owl's predator
Great horned owls can slide victim to foxes, coyotes, and bobcats.

Jack Bell Images/W3schools

Excellent horned owls have no extreme predators, and it is unusual for an adult to be attacked. But, there are occasions exactly where these owls could need to protect themselves more than foodstuff and territory. 

Terrific horned owls can drop prey to animals like foxes, coyotes, and bobcats. Attacks from these predators typically occur out in the open up when the owl is mantling or masking its prey. Other birds of prey, like golden eagles and northern goshawks, can also pose a danger. 

The younger of wonderful horned owls is the most vulnerable. The babies can drop target to other raptors and birds.

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