Viewing 30 reply threads
    • Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Bird_Academy
      Compare your thoughts from before this lesson to what you know now about owl diets. Do any of owls' prey items surprise you?
      You must be enrolled in the course to reply to this topic.
    • ILMP
      Participant
      Chirps: 28
      birdbird448
      well, i once saw an image of a great grey owl eating a fawn.
    • Tam
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      hudsonriver123
      • I did not know that the size of talons helped clue you in in what owls eat, however I did know that their range and habitat were clues and in other birds the beaks were also indicators.  The wallabies as prey to powerful owls would be the one suprise
    • Josh
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      jbennett1995
      I did not know there were several species of owls that specialize in eating fish. This is, to me, reminiscent of an Osprey as being the "fish specialist" of the diurnal birds of prey family. I also did not know that many owls eat insects!
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      46er2355
      I hadn't known how many owls eat insects.
    • Tim
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      tbfath
      Question, when an owl bobs and weaves its head about is it listening, focusing its eyes or both?
    • Anne
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      anne
      Thought they were all carnivores.
    • Ashlyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Aisling Mahoney
      I didn't realize how many owls ate insects; I thought they all ate mainly small mammals.  I certainly wasn't aware that there are owls that eat primarily fish!  The variety among the different owl groups has truly been astounding me throughout this course.
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 45
      cgtv123
      I hadn't really thought that much about it before, but didn't realize that some ate insects, like beetles.  I was surprised and somewhat saddened that some eat other birds, but that is how it is with the food chain.  After another student pointed out that fish eat fish and mammals eat mammals (sometimes), I guess it's not that unusual. I was also surprised that some can hunt or be seen during the day.  I didn't know that and will pay more attention when out for hikes by the fields in the winter.  And learning about, and seeing, the beautiful fish-eating owls was surprising as well. I found this and the previous section very interesting; the pictures and video are amazing.
    • Paula
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      paulastlawrence
      I didn't know much about an Owl's diet - especially eating cats (wow) or how an Owl's feathers are associated with their silent flight or where there ears were located.   The variety of their diet was a surprise to me.  So amazing and interesting!!!!
    • Yvonne
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      yvie137
      I was on a walk with some experienced birders a year or so ago and they were talking about the cat collars they have seen high up in trees. I was shocked that great horned owls can take cats like that. And wallabies?! Yikes!!!
    • Karrin
      Participant
      Chirps: 33
      klukacs
      It seems to me that owls are quite adaptable in terms of diet. I was surprised to learn that some (many) owls eat insects. If I owned a cat, I would be worried to let it outside after this lesson! I am wondering if we'll be learning about owl pellets during this course?
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 53
      suzukiawd13
      I saw, in one of the lessons, that a Great Horned Owl, can hunt, up to the size of a Cat. I would love to see a picture of a larger Owl species, in a fight with a Cat. Or even a Grouse. It seems the Owls, usually go after smaller vertebrates. But if there is a picture of a larger Owl, hunting a medium/small vertebrate, it must be awesome. OWL vs. CAT, or OWL vs. GROUSE.   It would have to be a larger/largest Owl. Great Horned Owl / Fish-Eagle-Hawk Owl.          ??   I did not know there was a Fish Owl, or a Hawk Owl, or an Eagle Owl. Kinda like the Osprey, to Eagles and Hawks. Same family, but a little different.
    • Kjersti
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      kringsrud
      I was surprised to learn that some owls eat moths, and how many owls eat insects.
    • Paulette
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      paulette19
      I wasn't aware there were fishing owls or that an owl would eat a wallaby.  When I was a teacher, I gave my class of 30 7th graders the task of owl pellet dissection.  29 showed the usual voles/rodents and 1 was full of black feathers.  The kids were amazed!
    • Pablo
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      papophd
      I have personally seen Short-eared Owls hunting bats. So whatever they can catch will be fair game for food.
    • Gary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      GaryMcGurk
      Before this course I hadn't heard of fishing or fish owls. Ospreys and other fishing eagles were familiar, but not the fishing owls.
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      amyand2vizslas
      I am definitely surprised that there are owls that specialize in eating moths and beetles! I knew about most of the other diets.
    • Chris
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      birdswv
      Most of the owl's prey makes sense when you look at the owl because owls have features to help them hunt for their diet. For example, owls with strong and sharp talons would most likely hunt birds or small mammals. However, I found it surprising how a small owl could hunt another bird. This proves what amazing hunters owls are, and how skilled they are.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      happy2cu
      I had no idea that owls ate insects, or that some ate cats.  That is why it is dangerous t leave your cat out also at night, besides other dangers. I also didn't know that some some owls are out in the daytime, as I have never seen one.  This is a very interesting course, and I am really enjoying it.
    • Matt
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mraimondi
      I had no idea owls ate insects. I thought they all ate rodents.
    • Diana
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Bluesybird
      I had no idea the variety of talons and prey among owls.  This explains why the Great Horned Owls hang out in and around our yard at night, as our area also attracts opossum, cats, raccoons, etc.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      sugismama
      Great Horned Owls take house cats here in Alaska. Not safe to let house cats roam at night. I'm not really surprised, but I'm impressed that Snowy Owls can take ducks on the water, and the fishing owls are impressive too. Owls that can take monkeys are kind of intimidating!
      • Diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Bluesybird
        Same here in Southern California.
    • Emily
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      greenherring
      I was most surprised to learn that owls that are similar in size can eat very different kinds of prey, and that you can tell what type of prey they eat by looking at their feet.
    • Nemo
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      bubohoot
      The wide range of the diet of the Great Horneds.  There is one chapter dedicated to the diet of this species in "The Owl Papers" by Jonathan Evan Maslow.  He quotes "the partial list of items in the Great Horned  Owl's diet"  by Dr. A. K. Fisher, "after dissecting some hundreds of owl stomaches, ...three species of rabbits, cotton rat, two species of pocket gofer, two species of wood rat, chipmunk, two species of grass hopper mice, white footed mouse, common rat, two species of ground squirrels, musk rat, fox squirrel, five species of meadow mice, house mouse, flying squirrel, common shrew, kangaroo rat, scorpions and crawfish." I also read the Great Horneds take down skunks..  How good is their sense of smell?? Another fascination point is the size of prey - I'm always amused by the optimistic and bold choice of prey of the pygmy owls - I read they take down prey larger than themselves (and sometimes lose...)
      • Karrin
        Participant
        Chirps: 33
        klukacs
        Wow! I am really impressed by how flexible owls are in terms of what they eat.
    • Shea
      Participant
      Chirps: 24
      runnerboy13
      Fish owls surprise me, usually you would't think of an owl as a fish eating animal, but apparently they are! It also surprises me how some eat birds.
      • Patience
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        onebarnowl
        That owls eat fish was the most surprising to me, too.
      • Doug
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        delinson

        @Patience

        • I was most surprised by the fact that some eat fish as well. I also did not know about the different foot types and that they did  no t have full binocular vision

    • Olivia
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      NightwingMoonwatcher
      The part about owls eating birds is sorta sad. But, animals do what they must to survive.
      • Doug
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        delinson
        Mammals eat mammals, fish eat fish, so it's really not unusual that birds would eat birds.
    • Julia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      spacejules
      I'm surprised owls can eat animals as large as wallabies! Does anyone know if owls ever eat snakes?
      • Julia
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        spacejules
        I saw that this was answered in the next lesson - yes, they do!
    • rita
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      czekalinski
      I had no idea owls ate insects.
    • Tammy
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      thendrickson
      I found it fascinating about the different talons on the owls determine their diet. I didn’t know this. I assumed all owls eat rodents. I was amazed at the Eurasian Eagle owl’s talons.  I found out they can take down a small deer!  Truly amazing birds!  0CE61B60-15CF-4C62-8281-5F065EFFF03B
      • Nemo
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        bubohoot
        This photo really emphasizes the  unique talons of the Great Horned Owl.  Thank you Tammy.  I am also fascinated by their talons and how they align to grab preys!
    • Herbie
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      HerbieR
      It is very interesting to know more about the relationship between the structure of an owl’s feet (e.g., toe alignment, size of toes & talons) and its preferred foods.
Viewing 30 reply threads