What does an owl eat?


Many owls feed mainly on furry animals such as mice, rats, moles, squirrels, rabbits, and even skunks.  They often swallow the smaller animals whole.


Owls also eat insects, worms,  spiders, frogs, lizards, and small birds. Owls can kill animals as large as they are or even larger.

In the world of the hunter...owls eat extremely well!!

The favorite food of North American owls are insects and rodents.

Since owls swallow prey whole, what it cannot digest, such as teeth, claws, and fur, it stores in its gizzard. (part of the owl's stomach)  Strong muscles roll the undigested pieces into small balls, called pellets.  The owl coughs this up.

Scientists poke through the pellets to learn what owls eat.  Sometimes they come across the skull  of a mouse, or the leg of a beetle.  Sometimes even the scales of fish!

They do this so they can compare what owls eat in different seasons, since owls stay in one place all year long.


When an owl lands on its prey, the owl hits the prey with its feet.  If the prey is still alive, it breaks the animal's neck with a quick bite.  Then it carries its prey up to a branch to eat.

I hear the sound you're making!  But, remember, we can go buy our food at the supermarket.  We do not have to hunt for our food.  If the owl didn't do this they would be extinct, and you wouldn't hear them in the evening, or even see them at the zoo.  So always remember how lucky we are.