An owl will attack a large house cat

Owls on the hunt

If you want to know how, for example, the eagle owl, the short-eared owl, the tawny owl, the little owl or the long-eared owl go hunting in nature, then you have come to the right place. You can take part in my observations of different owls here. The largest owl in Europe, the eagle owl, is a hide hunter and is one of the hunters of the night. Here you can find out whether eagle owls and other owls also hunt during the day. You will also find out whether the owl hunts e.g. cats, dogs, hedgehogs, fawns, foxes, birds (e.g. birds of prey, owls, corvids, songbirds), mice, brown rats, rabbits, pheasants and hares. I will show you many pictures on which you can see for yourself how the eagle owl ambushes and catches its prey at night and on the day. First a picture of different owl species on the hunt.

Owls on the hunt - eagle owl, little owl, short-eared owl, tawny owl, long-eared owl

Hunting behavior of owls

How does the eagle owl (largest owl) hunt? During the day, the eagle owl sits on its hide and watches everything that moves around it. He observes exactly where, for example, the city pigeons, the wood pigeons, the crows sleep and the rabbits, the hedgehogs or the rats look for food. In the city, e.g. at the Ohlstorfer Friedhof in Hamburg, you can see the owls hunting for mice, rats, pigeons and rabbits. When the eagle owls raise their young, they also hunt during the day. I will now show you some pictures on which you can understand for yourself what the hunting behavior of the largest owl in Germany looks like. First the pigeon is observed to find out when it is inattentive, and then the owl strikes.

Images on the subject of hunting - owls hunt in the city

When owls go hunting during the day and crows, blackbirds, jays or magpies spot them, they sound the alarm and the daytime hunt is over.
The eagle owl also hunts in ruins, in empty houses, in church towers and barns. If you want to photograph owls hunting, you have to be patient. Many photos become blurred because most exposure times in owl photography are between 10 and 20 seconds. I'll show you some pictures that I took of the old Shell building in Hamburg City Nord when it was demolished. I have observed over a long period of time how the eagle owl chases the pigeons in the building. You can't call it hunting because it has nothing to do with hunting. In the dark, owls have an advantage over other bird species because of their good hearing and better vision. The eagle owl waits until the “city pigeons”: have found their roost and then it fetches them. I'll show you some photos now and you will see how easy it is for the eagle owl to get its prey.

Eagle owl fetches the pigeons from their roost at night

And he gets the crows (all birds) from their roosts too. He observes the hedgehogs, the squirrels, the rats, the mice or the rabbits in their search for food. If the eagle owl has discovered one of these animals, it glides silently from its seat and prey on it. You can't really call it hunting, because eagle owls are among the surprise hunters of the night.
You will probably not experience that an eagle owl beats a bird in the air, like the hawk or the peregrine falcon, it is too slow and clumsy for that. It looks different with the short-eared owl, it has a different hunting technique than an owl that lives in the forest. During the day she also goes on a search flight to hunt for birds. Each owl has adapted its hunting technique and behavior according to its habitat.

How does an owl hunt - Short-eared owl also hunts small birds during the day

Owls hunt day and night

There is often the question of whether the eagle owl and other owls hunt cats, fawns, foxes, dogs, hares, beech martens and pheasants. I was able to observe with some Uhubruten that cats run over and pieces of fawns who died during mowing work were brought to the eyrie. But I kept seeing cats, rabbits, and pheasant roosters in close proximity to Uhub hatchlings. The eagle owl never tried to hunt them. There is also a reason for this, because they can all defend themselves well and the eagle owl knows that too. More on this under eagle owl and hare or eagle owl and fox.

Owls eat carrion (fallen game)

When owls go hunting during the day, it is no easier for them than other birds of prey. The magpies and crows pluck the eagle owl by the tail feathers every now and then, because they know they are more agile and faster. Most of the time it looks like one of them is distracting and the partner tugs at the tail feathers. The owl also makes no attempt to catch the troublemakers in flight. She prefers to fly into a tree in such a way that she has good cover and can observe her surroundings well. Even the mouse has an advantage during the day, when the eagle owl tries to grab it, the mouse jumps up. Every animal has an advantage over its predators. It just has to be used correctly. In the dark the owls use their advantages, see and hear well and fly silently.

Hunting behavior - all animals have the same chance during the day
Pictures of owls hunt in the building at night

When examining the owl bulbs, you will occasionally find small bones, e.g. from rabbits, fawns and foxes that got into it after eating fallen game. And not through targeted hunting. The eagle owl also takes hedgehogs run over in the city from the streets. More on this topic on my page vaults and spits.

Owl bulbs and owl feeding (hedgehog)

If you visit the old breeding grounds of owls in the forest or in the city in autumn and winter, you will find many remains of their prey. Such as owl feet, sparrowhawk wings, kestrel feathers, buzzard and hawk remains, crow feathers, hedgehog blankets or even a large plucking place with lots of pigeon feathers. I have seen a number of times that an eagle owl that has discovered a dead fox first bites it in the eye. The eagle owl mainly fetches in summer, at night, the birds of prey that attack its young and also him during the day (mobbing). I took a closer look at the remains of the birds of prey that I found in the area. I noticed the eagle owl not only bite the fox in the eye first, but also the birds of prey. In addition some pictures

Hunting behavior - e.g. how owls kill their enemies

Owls are hunted by humans

Owls are still illegally pursued and hunted by humans in Germany and Europe. Some stand up for the protection of the owls, and the other poison and shoot the owls. More on the topic under illegal hunting of birds of prey and enemies of birds.

More under Hunting Law - Shot down eagle owl (owl) in Schleswig-Holstein

General information and pictures about all owl species with small profiles can be found on my page:

Owl pictures for hunting technique & hunting style

Owl pictures for hunting technique and manner

My site is great for projects in kindergarten, district school, high school, university and school for lectures and essays in biology, in zoology, in specialist classes, for worksheets, for species profiles and for presentations or for an essay in biology classes popular. Here you will find everything for your profile template (elementary school, secondary school, high school) about birds.
There are extra bird pages for the children in preschool and for the children in primary school, e.g. with pictures of chicks or bird portraits. At the bottom of the page you will always find a list of other bird watching.

Have fun on my pages, such as special features from the bird world or flight pictures of birds.

We have had our most beautiful bird observations in Europe in Iceland, in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark), in Holland, in England, in Poland, in Austria, in Switzerland, in Belgium, in Ireland, in Italy, in France, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Germany in Berlin, in Hamburg on the Elbe, in Bremen, in North Rhine-Westphalia, in Baden-Württemberg, in Saarland, in Rhineland-Palatinate, in Bavaria, in Hesse, in Schleswig- Holstein, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Lewitz), in Thuringia, in Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt and in Lower Saxony.

Observations, bird pictures and author: Gerhard Brodowski Hamburg

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