• Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      The further information about the snowy owl hunting ducks and scoters on the open ocean at night really amazed me! Otherwise, I was not surprised by the all-of-the-above approach including crawfish, insects, voles, etc. with a bit of variation from owl species to owl species.
    • Krishnandu
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I am not at all surprised. As I had submitted before I had fostered a spotted owlet chick as it had fallen off from its nest due to storm. A good guy had walked up to me stating If I could help this chick. I fed the chick with fresh meat, guts etc but it would have it only on its own wish. Just the next day a pair of Spotted owlet residing on the old silver oak tree came on my window of the room where I had kept the chick and it started communicating with the chick. I walked in the courtyard and found there was again one of the owl at a hand distance and it looked straight at me it wasn't afraid of me despite day time it kept following me when ever I was out of the house. Rest of the time it would come on the window. It took me two days to realize. when the next day late afternoon  I returned home and found the same owl looking over me from the  window of my room which was open I took a decision to keep the chick in the courtyard near a tree. The moment I did one of the couple owl circled my head and sat beside the chick after communication it flew to a nearby by branch the chick hopped and branched towards it. In next minute the elder owl flew away in about 3-4 minute it brought a freshly hunted sparrow but the chick could not eat despite the owl kept tearing its chunk after a while sun went down and darkness fell the owl couple brought (probably) moths and night insects it kept feeding the chick till it was well fed. They Flew back to the Old Silver Oak tree. The next day I realized and witnessed . The couple had a chick of their own and yet it was adopted the chick and fed both the chicks equally. A sight I cherish to date.
      • Lynne
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Thank you for sharing that amazing experience!
      • Maria
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        This is a deeply touching story and an amazing experience~
    • Alexandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I didn't know that owls eat insects or fish! It is fascinating how much you can learn about their diet based on the size and shape of the feet and talons. But it makes sense considering beaks can be used for other bird species and teeth shape for mammals (more generally).
    • David Ricardo
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      He knew that owls have well-developed zygodactyl ears, eyes and claws, as well as quiet flight. What I have learned now is that owl claws have adapted to prey, strong and powerful claws capture large mammals and other large prey, small claws capture insects and small vertebrates, the claws bare with spicules capture fish. Owls have adapted to capture a variety of prey that have generated a variety of claws. I was surprised that some owls ate "fishes"DSCN7405 Short-eared Owl and your prey (an rodent) in the Sabana de Bogotá, Colombia
    • Peggy
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I didn't realize that owls eat fish or snails.  I thought that they mostly eat small rodents.
    • Carolyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I was surprised that some owls eat fish, and that they can eat so many different things.
    • Here is a prey item that might surprise you: leeches.  In this video from our Barred Owl Cam a leech is dealt with by a sibling. Blood-Sucking Leech Goes for Wild Ride in Barred Owl Nest Box 
      • Esteban
        Participant
        Chirps: 163
        Yes, I saw it and surprised me. A little disgusting to me(:
    • Kennedy
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I was not aware just how easy it is to learn an owl's diet just by observing their feet! It's baffiling how some of these owls have the precision to catch even the smallest of bugs and critters, and others the ability to catch prey almost as seemingly big as themselves! I wasn't all too surpised by the variety of their diet. From what I've read about, in some instances owls will feed even on roadkill. So they're definitely not picky eaters!
    • Johanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Wow I didn't know so many owls ate insects and smaller creatures!! I already knew Barred Owls ate things like frogs from watching the Barred Owl cam but I didn't expect insects even for the smaller ones.  The Powerful Owl must be really strong to carry a wallaby!! I have always wanted to go to Australia because they have so many unique animals. With the fish owls I would have thought they were hawks at first. Has anyone else read the article about those Barn Owls? It is really fascinating!!
    • Esteban
      Participant
      Chirps: 163
      I did not thought owls ate opossums. I once saw an opossum ( in real life) and it was huge. I did not knew it ate insects or snails. Moths are something I did not knew was in an owl´s diet. The scorpions and centipedes are venomous, but they eat it! I have learned a lot, and I am still finding an owl.
    • Dawn
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      That was very eye opening to see the wide variety of prey that different owls eat.   Insects and owls did not go together in my old schema.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      I did not realize owls had such a diverse diet.  I was really surprised byt the fish eating owls.
    • Samantha
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Yes some of the things they eat surprises me.
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I didn’t know about the differences in the size of owl toes. It’s a little dicey to make the call, but it makes sense that the thinner toes are more useful to insect and small bird feeders. Also, when I look at toe orientation, it seems that when an owl extends a toe to the side, the effect is very “thumb” like, making the toe arrangement excellent for grasping.
    • ILMP
      Participant
      Chirps: 28
      well, i once saw an image of a great grey owl eating a fawn.
    • Tam
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      • 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
    • 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: 9
      I hadn't known how many owls eat insects.
    • Tim
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Question, when an owl bobs and weaves its head about is it listening, focusing its eyes or both?
    • Anne
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Thought they were all carnivores.
    • Ashlyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      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
      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
      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
      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: 47
      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?