Do owls eat snakes?

In this article, we are going to answer do owls eat snakes, what are owls, what are snakes, what else owls eat, what types of snakes owls eat, how owl catches snakes, and whether are snakes healthy to eat. 

Do owls eat snakes?

Yes, owls do eat snakes. Owls are predators and opportunistic hunters that do not need to actively hunt snakes. Snakes are not the main food in their diet but if one comes across them, they will happily hunt and eat snakes. 

There are 4 species of owls that do eat snakes. These includes

  • Great Horned Owl
  • Eastern Screech Owl
  • Barred Owl
  • Burrowing Owl

Owls can even eat venomous snakes because they can completely tear snake flesh. 

What are owls?

Owls are classified as birds that are mainly active during the night or are also known as nocturnal animals. They are part of the order Strigiformes which are characterized as being lonely animals that hunt during the night. 

Owls most often eat small mammals, insects, other birds, fish, and snakes. Owls are divided into two main families. 

  • True owl family or Strigidae
  • Barn-owl family or Tytonidae

When there is a group of owls which is very weird they are known as parliament. Owls are very important for rodent control and have been part of a natural form of pest control. Also, they have been several attacks of owls on humans but they can normally live together in peace. 

What are snakes?

There are a huge variety of species of snakes all over the world. They can be found everywhere except in Antarctica, Iceland, Ireland, Greenland, and New Zealand because of the weather and environment. 

Snakes are reptiles and are divided into venomous and nonvenomous. Nonvenoumous can be harmless such as python or non-harmless. All species of snakes eat their victims whole and in large portions. Later the victim is digested inside them. 

They are known to be cold-blooded and have to regulate their own body temperature. They more often live on land but there are some species of sea snakes. Also, there are only 5 species of snakes that can actually fly. 

What else do owls eat?

Snakes are not the main food of owls. Owls vary in size and can eat a variety of animals such as small rodents, reptiles, and other birds. Some examples of what owls eat include

  • Moths or beetles
  • Large birds
  • Fish 
  • Snakes
  • Lemmings

Owls have adapted because they can be found all over the world so their diet may vary depending on where they live. Their hunting skills have evolved from specie to specie. 

What types of snakes do owls eat?

There is no exact type of snake that owls eat because they are not regularly part of their diets. Owls usually skip snakes because there is a high probability they are venom but the most common type of snakes owls hunts are

  • Common garter
  • Rat snake
  • Ribbon Snake
  • Eastern hognose
  • Smooth green snake

How do owls catch snakes?

Owls are known to be excellent hunters, especially the Great Horned Owl. They are part of the higher hierarchy in the food chain and can easily eat a small animal. Owls have special night vision and have their eyes facing forward which helps them to be very visual animals.

Also, owls have a perfect hearing sensor and they are very silent when they fly so it makes it easier for them to catch snakes. When an owl finds a snake, they swoop down on them and grab them with its claws. 

Just as owls can hunt and eat snakes, snakes can also bite back or coil around owls and eat them. 

Are snakes healthy to eat?

Snakes are an animal high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and calcium. Snakes are not only eaten by owls but are also eaten by wolverines, mongooses, bobcats, honey badgers, secretary birds, and humans. 

If you want to know what other animals eat snakes, follow this link. 


This article answered do owls eat snakes, what are owls, what are snakes, what else owls eat, what types of snakes owls eat, how owls catch snakes, and whether snakes are healthy to eat. 


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