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Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

Why Do Owls Hunt at Night?

Why Do Owls Hunt at Night?

The majority of owl species are nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day and are awake and hunt at night. However, this does not hold true for all owls, as some do hunt and consume their prey during daylight hours.

Most owls hunt at night because they feed on mice and other small creatures that come out after dark. The owl is especially suited for nighttime hunting. It has large eyes and can see well in the dark. Its ears are so keen that it can hear a mouse scamper over the ground many yards away.

Its fluffy feathers muffle its flight, so there is hardly a sound as it swoops out of the dark to grab its prey. Even though most owls are active at night, they can see well in daylight. A few, such as burrowing and short-eared owls, are even daytime hunters.

Snowy owls, for example, hunt during the day, as they tend to live in climates with long hours of sunlight, and Barred owls will hunt during overcast weather, as well as at dawn and dusk.

Owls that hunt during the day are large members of the species, and don’t face as much competition from other birds of prey. Their larger mass also allows them to hunt bigger prey that’s active during the day. Snowy owls often favor ducks, while Barred owls hunt animals as large as foxes.

Content for this question contributed by Heather Lipnis, resident of Chagrin Falls, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA