What Type of Owl Eats Snakes?

What Type of Owl Eats Snakes?
••• Greg Meland/iStock/GettyImages

Owls are opportunistic hunters that will eat anything they can find, including snakes. However, no owl feeds mainly on snakes. Their primary prey depends on the size and species of owl. Small owls such as the Screech owl feed mostly on insects, while Barn Owls have a distinct preference for rodents.

Great Horned Owl

The Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus, is a large, powerful aggressive hunter sometimes called the “tiger owl.” It is found in almost all habitats across the country, and will prey on any native snake it finds, provided the snake is small enough to overpower. In addition to snakes and other reptiles, it seizes prey as varied as rodents, squirrels, skunks, frogs and other owls. Small to medium sized mammals like rabbits and hares make up the largest percentage of the owl's diet.

Eastern Screech Owl

The Eastern Screech Owl, Megascops asio, is a small, woodland resident that eats whatever suitably-sized prey it finds at night. It will seek out snakes common to woodland, forest and suburban areas such as the common garter, the eastern hognose and the rat snake. It also consumes voles, deer mice, bats and small fish, as well as invertebrates such as:

  • crayfish
  • snails
  • spiders

Barred Owl

The Barred Owl, Strix varia, is a medium-sized bird with distinctive horizontal bars on its chest and vertical bars on its belly. Its preferred prey includes meadow voles, shrews and deer mice, but it will also prey on snakes like the eastern ribbon, the rat snake and the common garter. Barred Owls inhabit moist forests, wooded swamps, and woodlands near rivers and streams.

Burrowing Owl

The Burrowing Owl, Athene cunicularia, is a small owl that nests on the ground, often in burrows already dug by other animals like prairie dogs. Its primary prey is large insects such as beetles and grasshoppers, but they also will prey on small mammals, birds, scorpions and small snakes. The Burrowing Owl is found in open, dry grasslands, range lands and deserts.

Related Articles

How Do Birds Find Food?
What Types of Carnivores Are in California?
Snakes That Have a Checkered Belly
What Type of Ecosystem Does an Owl Live in?
What Enemies Do Raccoons Have?
What Do Owls Eat?
Types of Animals in the Temperate Woodland & Shrubland
What Eats Cockroaches?
Predators of the Southern Flying Squirrel
Animals in a Woodland Ecosystem
Snakes Found in New York State
What Is the Natural Habitat of a Hedgehog?
Test Your Knowledge on Middle School Science
List of Mammals in Tennessee
Black Snakes with Yellow Rings in Georgia
Types of Snakes in Delaware
What Eats a Jackrabbit?
Different Types of Hawks
Birds That Eat Mosquitoes
What Do Wild Birds Eat?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!