Do Owls Eat Rabbits?

Small animals like rabbits make up the meal source of many predator animals and birds. Many prey birds like red-tailed hawks, eagles, owls, crow, etc. usually hunt and eat rabbits. So if your questions have always been, do owls eat rabbits? Then the answer to that is definitely yes. Some species of Owls prey on rabbits, and they also eat them for food.

do owls eat rabbits

Owls are nocturnal and birds of prey that usually prey on major animals smaller than them in terms of size to survive. They are known to eat small animals and medium-sized mammals like squirrels, insects, hares, rodents, fish, ground squirrels, rabbits, mice, cats, rats and other small birds. Beyond even small animals and birds, some owls are not scared to eat big animals like cats.

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When it comes to hunting, owls are very opportunist birds of prey; they usually hunt for available prey. Majorly many owls are patient hunters; they perch and wait for their prey before they attack. They depend mainly on their sense of hearing and its supervision.

Do owls eat rabbits?

There are different species of owls, and these owls have other feeding habits. We have the barn owl, great horned owl, screech owl hawk owls. Owls are majorly active at night because there are mostly nocturnal animals. Whatever species of owl you find, rabbit is a good source of food to them, and they kill and eat it to feed.

How do owls hunt Rabbits?

Rabbits are one of the animals that serve as food for owls and their young ones. Adult owls usually hunt for rabbits while the baby owl eats. Baby owls may eat small birds and small rabbits, while adult owls eat the big ones.

Wild owls are very terrible and efficient hunters, which makes hunting very easy for them at any time of the day. Hence, with good vision and acute hearing skills, they can easily sight rabbits or any prey from a long distance. To hunt rabbits, owls use various hunting techniques. They sit and wait patiently for their prey, hover and scan the ground, and then a fast attack or dive on the rabbit. Rabbits are found in Rocky or wooden areas, so the owl sits and waits.

Do owls eat rabbits?

The sit and wait method involves the owl perch in a particular strategic ground point waiting and scanning for animals like rabbits, cats, hares, etc. This method is highly effective for the barn owl because the prey falls into the trap without any suspicion. When the barn owl finds one, she attacks suddenly.

Hovering and scanning the ground strategy involves the owl hovering around and watching from the sky for prey like rabbits to feed on. This method works because owls flights are always silent, and prey won’t detect and prepare for danger. With this, the owl launches a sudden attack on the rabbit. The rabbit is attacked and killed without any form of suspicion from it.

Owls attack its prey by swooping quietly on it, then grasping the animals with its sharp talons. These talons can break the head of the rabbit and also tear its part apart before they eat.

What makes hunting and eating of Rabbits easy for Owls?

Owls are blessed with various body features that make hunting prey like rabbits easy at any time.

Excellent And Keen Vision

Owls are well endowed with an excellent and keen vision that it can easily sight animals on the ground from afar. Owls have a good low light vision that makes it possible for it to hunt at night. Owls can turn their head 360 degrees at a point without the need to move. This makes it easy for them to scan for rabbits. They can also look straight ahead and sight their prey, all thanks to their head.

Good Hearing

Owls have an incredible acute hearing feature that makes them detect and differentiate prey with their sounds. They can capture animals like rabbits, ground squirrels, mostly hidden ones by their sound. They also trace the sounds of rabbits to where the rabbit is just to prey on it.

Silent Flight

Unlike other bird predators, barn owls have the ability to take silent flight when scanning for its prey. The feather of an owl is designed in such a way that its flight is not noisy, and hence it won’t be noticed by preys during its scanning flight.

Do owls eat rabbits?

Sharp Talons

Owls attack their prey suddenly, and they try to keep that prey within their control within the moment of attack so that the prey won’t escape with its powerful talons. The talons of an owl are really sharp, and they can be used to crush the head of a rabbit, both big and small. Their sharp Talons aid their attack on rabbits.

How do Owls feed on Rabbits?

Owls feed on rabbits just like they eat other prey of theirs. After they have attacked a rabbit, the owl uses its peak to tear the rabbit apart, making it easy for consumption for the owl.

do owls eat rabbits

After doing this bit, by bit, they beckon it and swallow. It is common for owls to eat the head of their prey first. Its sharp talons are used for crushing the head of the rabbit; then, it is swallowed by the owl. With this, the owl can focus on the other body parts of the rabbit till it finishes the rabbit.


Owls have the ability to prey on animals that are larger than their body size. Owls often hunt and eat large rabbits. Big rabbits are common meals to hawk owls, barred owls, ban owls, and many other large owls.

Owls are nocturnal animals and are blessed with great low light vision, and that enables them to hunt at night. With these, they can easily hunt rabbits and hares at night without any difficulties. They sit and wait for the prey.

Owls are known to be large food consumers. Generally, an owl consumes up to 10 to 30 percent of its body mass daily. Owls have a high rate of metabolism, and this makes them eat frequently. They eat a lot of food.


When it comes to the diet of owls, a wide range of food list is available to them. Birds of prey like an owl, eagle eat small animals, medium-sized animals, small birds, and fish. Wild and captive owls often list rabbits, hares as one of their sources of food. If you have an owl around, don’t be surprised to see dead rabbits around.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at .

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