Do Owls Eat Snakes?
There are more than 225 distinct species of owls found around the world. They range in size from the tiny and aptly called Little Owl to the world’s largest owl, the Blakiston fish owl. The food of an owl varies greatly due to the large number of species found across its habitat.
Do owls, on the other hand, eat snakes? Which ones, if any, do this, and how do they capture them? We’ll attempt to answer all of those queries in this post.
Yes, owls do eat snakes and are particularly fond of them. The Great Horned Owl, Eastern Screech Owl, Barred Owl, and Burrowing Owl are four of the most common owl species reported to eat snakes. Owls are opportunistic hunters that will cheerfully hunt and consume snakes when they become available.
Continue reading to learn how owls catch snakes and which kinds of snakes they consume.
What Types Of Snakes Do Owls Eat?
The types of snakes consumed by owls are determined by the size of the snakes they can overcome and the snake species that may be found in their environment. The Great Horned Owl is a big owl that may be found across North America as well as much of South America.
They have one of the most diversified habitats and diets due to their vast range. Deserts, woods, grasslands, and suburban areas are all good places to look for them.
Small and medium-sized animals, such as rabbits and hares, are the principal prey of Great Horned Owls. Snakes do not make up a large percentage of their food. Snakes such as the common garter, rat snake, and eastern hognose are mostly eaten by Eastern Screech Owls.
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These snakes are tiny enough for the owl to effectively hunt and may be found in woodlands, woods, and suburban areas throughout their native environment. Barred owls eat snakes such as the rat snake, common garter, and ribbon snake, which are eaten by barred owls, which are medium-sized owls.
Burrowing Owls are small ground-nesting owls that primarily feed on smaller snakes that they can easily defeat. Smooth green snakes are known to be prey and are hunted by them. Common Garter, Rat Snake, Ribbon Snake, Eastern Hognose, and Smooth Green Snake are some of the snakes that some owl species consume.
How Do Owls Hunt And Catch Snakes?
Owls, like humans, have binocular vision, in which both eyes are directed in the same direction. Other birds, on the other hand, have their eyes on the sides of their heads.
As a result, owls have exceptional depth perception, which is necessary to make judgments on the distances required to hit their prey, and this is especially crucial when dealing with potentially lethal snakes.
They can efficiently hunt snakes, thanks to their acute eyesight and ability to attack unsuspecting victims stealthily. Owls utilise their strong talons to capture snakes from the ground and carry them to a limb to eat them once they swoop down and attack.
Because there is no ground beneath the snake’s body to support it, they are powerless when they are off the ground and cannot reach the owl to hit it and fight back.
Snakes have strong belly muscles, yet they need a surface to move or strike with. As a result, once the owls have trapped them, snakes are the owls’ next meal with no possibility of escaping.