Do owls eat bats?

Bats and owls are mysterious animals since they live at night. A number of animals, including mice and rats, are preyed upon by owls, which are predatory birds. Owls have been known to eat bats from time to time. Not only owls, but a variety of other birds also hunt on bats, and this behavior is not uncommon.

Owls are one of the few predators that hunt bats in the wild. Owls and other owl-like predatory birds occasionally hunt on bats, although bats are not their primary source of food.

Do owls eat bats?

This predatory bird eats mice and rats, as well as other small prey such as flies. Owls have been known to eat bats from time to time. Owls aren’t the only birds to eat bats, but they aren’t the only ones to do it. A hungry owl will devour bats if given the chance. Keepers often find themselves defending their bats from beaked predators like this.

What Kinds Of Owls Eat Bats?

Owls that prey on bats include a variety of species. As a general rule, all owls hunt bats differently. It is most frequent for Great Horned, Tawny, and Barred Owls, as well as Barn and Long-Eared, to hunt bats.

These owls are known for being significantly more carnivorous and prone to eating a wide variety of animals than other owl species, which explains why they sometimes eat bats.

The Great Horned Owl is the most likely of these owls to hunt on bats. These owls are known to be the most ferocious in the owl family. According to local lore, some have been known to feed on domestic cats and other large animals. Even Great Horned Owls know how to store meat in cold weather so that they will have food when the meat thaws and becomes available. 

You might also be interested to know What Do Barred Owls Eat?

Will owls always eat bats?

It is common knowledge that owls are excellent at hunting from the skies at night, thus they have a vast variety of prey to choose from. Because bats are also nocturnal and hence readily available, they will strike if the opportunity presents itself. However, it is possible.

During the evening, owls can swoop in from afar and use their keen vision to catch prey. This means that a pack of bats that is already in a state of panic may not always be able to repel them. Their formidable talons will make it difficult to remove themselves from them.

Is it common for owls to eat bats?

Owls aren’t well suited to hunt bats, therefore most owls prefer to focus on the number of rodents that they may have their pick of, but owls nevertheless contribute to roughly 11% of bats’ annual mortality. Bats may be more abundant in the South, where this number may be higher than in other parts of the country.

As a result, bats are less likely to be preyed upon by owls. First and foremost, bats are capable of flight, and while owls are excellent flyers, catching one in flight is more difficult than doing it on the ground. In addition, bats are able to echolocate, which means that they may emit calls into the environment and listen to the echoes they receive from those calls, returned by surrounding objects, in order to find their way around the environment.

This enables them to detect where objects are and position them in their spatial navigation so that they can efficiently hunt and be safe while they fly around. Despite the fact that owls may use their incredible silent flight to snag unsuspecting mice, bats are able to detect an owl’s presence solely based on echolocation.

Because owls hunt from the air, where their powerful talons are at their disposal, it is highly unusual that an owl would come across a bat on the ground. They are either soaring through the air or clinging to a tree or other object. Once an owl has stopped hunting for the bat, the bat will fly away safely. Bats are more inclined to fight back when assaulted in mid-flight and can even fly close behind an owl while it does so.

In the end, an Oriental Bay owl had to be put down after swallowing a bat because the bat’s wing bone had protruded through the bird’s stomach.

How can I protect bats from owls?

A few friendly bats in your garden and an interest in protecting them from owls may be all you need to be concerned about. Owls have been reported to eat bats, but they prefer to eat mice, rats, and other small rodents. Skunks have been known to be eaten by them!

The presence of an owl could dissuade bats from swarming to your yard, but it’s not as easy as catching land rats. In fact, some gardeners use plastic owls that they meticulously put around their plants to keep bats away.


According to this, owls kill roughly 11% of bats every year. Depending on the species of owl and the locality, this can vary, but in general, bats provide a reliable source of food for many owls.

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