Do Owls Eat Snakes? Is It Dangerous For Them?

Owls really enjoy eating snakes. Owls may seem harmless but they are dangerous predators.

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Owls are active, especially at night, and with their great vision, they easily attack and hunt snakes to feed upon them.

Owls eat a variety of meals and also snakes depending on the size, however, owls can easily have anything that moves on the ground according to the size that can challenge. 

There have been many occasions witnessed where owls were willing to eat snakes of a bigger size. This shows their great interest in eating snakes and they also interact with snakes in different ways. 

Do, owls kill and eat snakes? Do they hunt or attack them?

Owls do kill and then eat snakes, like any other prey on the ground, They use their talons, by swooping down and grabbing them on the ground.  Owls attack snakes on the ground because they have excellent binocular vision like human beings.

Owls being adaptive in the environment of hunting can easily attack and have snakes whether on land or water as their meal. 

Owls approach snakes silently and then kill them immediately with swiftness.

However, snakes are not their primary diet and thus you will never find an owl continuously hunting for snakes, they hunt and prey snakes when they want to and it is possible. 

If birds don’t have teeth, then how can owls eat snakes?

Owls eating snakes usually depends on the size of the snakes. If the snake is small the owl can easily swallow it and if the size of the snake is big like any other bird’s eating pattern owls use their talon and beak to break and tear the snakes into small pieces. 

Owl is a carnivorous bird and thus has a beak tip that can use its downward strokes to rip off its prey’s flesh apart.

It can easily separate hair, scales from snakes, and then one can say that owls chew the snake and the rest of the flesh parts are swallowed. 

Related Read: What Birds Sound Like Owls?

What type of owls eats snakes?

There exists a wide variety of owls, being opportunistic hunter owls do feed upon snakes. Small owls eat small creatures while big and wild owls do prefer eating snakes. 

Owls like Barn owls, Great Horned owls, Barreled owls, Eastern screech owls, and Burrowing owls, eat snakes. 

Do spotted owls eat snakes?

Spotted owls being nocturnal owl eats different types of species of mammals at least 30 of them. They eat birds, bats, crickets, snakes, moths, and beetles. They can easily hunt snakes as they can sit and wait for predators.

They usually hunt in a day either by perch and swoop or by pouncing on prey. 

Do great grey owls eat snakes?

Yes, Great Gray owls eat snakes. Great gray owls usually eat small mammals like spotted owls. Great grey owls are large in size and thus can eat big birds, raptors, ducks, snakes, frogs, and insects.

They hunt during dusk and dawn. While hunting they tend to fly low and attack snakes or sit and wait to attack at the right time. 

Related Read: How Do Owls Sleep? Owls Sleeping Facts | Timings | Habits & Various Ways Of Sleep

Types of snakes owls eat

Owls eat snakes of small size that can be hunted easily like rat snakes, eastern ribbon eastern hognose, and common garter. The owls big in size also hunts poisonous snakes like gopher snake.

The owls eat snakes usually in deserts, woodland, dry areas, rangeland, swaps, and forests.

Do owls eat poisonous snakes? What would happen then? 

Owls do eat poisonous snakes and do not show any symptoms of any harmful effect. Great Horned owls or tiger owls fed at species of a variety of snakes including venomous snakes. They can eat gopher snakes the poisonous ones. 

Eating poisonous snakes is part of the diet of many birds including owls. Eating poisonous snakes does not prove dangerous to owls and their health.  

Related Read: Birds Body Parts: 21 Things And Facts You Should Know

Facts about owls hunting snakes.

Here are some facts about owl hunting snakes.

  • Owls while hunting either tend to wait patiently to catch snakes on the ground or they fly low to attack suddenly. 
  • Owls usually pick up the snakes from the ground by swooping or pouncing and then crush them by the strokes of talons. 
  • Owls can exert pressure of about 28 pounds thus, crushing the spine and  the organs of its prey or they drop the snakes from a height to kill them.
  • Owls are silent hunters, they hit so hard that big size animals also tend to be helpless.