What Do Owls Eat?

Renaud Visage/Photographer’s Choice/Getty Images

Owls prey on a very large variety of creatures, including squirrels, rabbits, raccoons and certain small birds. They also have been known to eat falcons and even other owls.

Owls also go after skunks and can even prey on cats and dogs. This obviously makes them strictly carnivorous animals and are known to be some of the most effective hunters in the animal kingdom.

Owls have incredible digestive systems that allow them to swallow their prey whole. Their droppings reduce their food to small pellets that contain raw bone, fur and the various other unwanted parts of their meal. They hunt at nighttime, usually striking from above, using powerful talons to kill and carry animals that are often much heavier than themselves.

They nest in a variety of areas, including tree holes, stumps, caves and even the abandoned nests of other birds. Not only are these animals powerful, but they are also fiercely protective of their young. Even if someone is unknowingly walking near an owl nest, they are at great risk of being attacked by the parents. Owls also tend to live in monogamous relationships, reproducing anywhere from one to five eggs that both the male and female take turns incubating. The males are the more typical hunters.