Owls, Where They Live, and What They Eat December 23 2016
There are over 30 different kinds of owls in North America alone. Each is unique, living only in certain areas, eating certain foods, and leaving identifying pellets. Here is some information about some of the owls you can find in North America and what their living and eating habits are. If you like what you're reading, order our owl pellet investigation kit to get started on your own experiments.
So, what do baby owls and adult owls eat?
Common barn owls. Barn owls have round/disc-like faces and brownish-black eyes. They can be found in most places; however, they tend to like open woodland areas rather than forests. Barn owls hunt small ground creatures including mice, shrews, and sometimes baby rabbits, amongst other animals.
Flammulated owls. Flammulated owls have a grayish-brown face and tend to be colored in a way that allows them to blend in with tree bark. They can be found mostly in mountain pine tree forests. They eat mostly nocturnal insects and spiders.
Whiskered screech-owls. Whiskered screech-owls are a light grayish color with bright yellow eyes. They are virtually exclusively found in mountain forest areas. They typically eat insects such as grasshoppers and locusts but will sometimes take small vertebrates.
Snowy owls. Snowy owls are light colored and mostly white. Unlike other owls, snowy owls tend to be active during the daytime. They can be found in arctic tundra or open grasslands and fields. Rather than hunting, they like to sit and wait for their food. Because of that, you might be asking yourself – do owls eat fish? They will eat anything from fish to mice to squirrels.
Speculated owls. Speculated owls have long white eyebrows on their dark brown faces. They can be found in dense tropical forest areas as well as dry forest savannah habitats. They like to eat small mammals including mice and sometimes possums or skunks. They also tend to eat many caterpillars, bats, birds, spiders, and more.
Mottled owls. Mottled owls have a brown face with white eyebrows and whiskers. They can be found in humid forests, drier wooded areas, plantations, and thorny forests. They tend to feed on small animals, especially mice, but will also eat reptiles, amphibians, and insects.
Crested owls. Crested owls are a chocolate brown color. They can be found in lowland rainforests with undergrowth. They mainly feed on insects, but will also eat small vertebrates.
Northern hawk owls. Northern hawk owls have a broadly rimmed face with white eyebrows. They can be found in open pine forests with clearings and moors. They like to eat small mammals, especially lemmings and voles.
Mountain pygmy owls. Mountain pygmy owls have a pale brownish face and narrow eyes. They are found mostly in pine-oak and pine-evergreen forests in mountain regions. They feed mostly on insects, especially grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, and beetles.
Elf owls. Elf owls vary in color between browns and grays. They are found in areas Southwest of the United States and prefer arid deserts and areas overgrown with cacti. They feed on weak prey because of their relatively weak talons. They tend to eat scorpions and insects.
Burrowing owls. Burrowing owls have pale brownish faces with while eyebrows. They can be found in open, dry grasslands and agricultural lands. They feed on a variety of prey and will change their food habits as location and seasons change. They like large beetles, grasshoppers, and small mammals like mice, rats, and gophers.
Stygian owls. Stygian owls are dusky brown with short, prominent eyebrows. They can be found in the forest or high in the mountains. They tend to feed on bats and birds as well as small mammals and insects.
Learn More Through Hands-On
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