Do snakes eat owls?

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Do snakes eat owls?

Dan Blundon

Votes: 9222

Well, yes. There are constrictors and pythons that could easily eat an owl. However, it is more likely that owls eat snakes. They are a pretty common item on the menu for many Raptors.


Votes: 4180

Yes, snakes can eat owls, however it’s depends on the size of snakes and owl, if the snake is small and owl is big, so he can turn the tables.Snakes are opportunistic animals & they can eat whatever they found whether it’s rat, moles or birds & Bigger snakes like green anaconda, reticulated python can consume larger animals such as Deer, pig , monkey, dogs, goats or sometimes even human.

Alex Cooper

Votes: 6259

That depends what you mean by ‘deer.’ No bird is lifting an adult moose, and most adult deer of any species are much too heavy for any bird to lift.

The largest (apparently) verified load carried by a bird was a 15 lb (6.8 kg) mule deer fawn, lifted by a bald eagle. So we know for certain that at least one bald eagle could lift a deer, albeit a young one.

I don’t know how they knew the fawn weighed 15 lbs, though. Maybe it was dead already and they were testing it with a captive bird. Who knows…

Anyway, there are a few other birds of prey that I reckon could lift a similar weight, including the harpy eagle, Philippines eagle, and martial eagle. Harpy eagles tackle reasonably large monkeys and sloths which are likely somewhere in that ballpark size-wise. I’ve seen a golden eagle carry off an adult fox carcass, too.

Could any of those lift an adult deer? Well, this is the smallest deer in the world— the Northern Pudu:

By Eider Joselito Chaves Chaves, Wikimedia Commons

Adults stand a mighty 35 cm tall at the shoulder and weigh 7.3 to 13.2 lb (3.3 to 6 kg).

So yes, plenty of large birds of prey could lift a small adult, and perhaps a handful could lift a ‘big’ one.

But we’re not going to let that happen, because the pudu is precious to me and must be protected at all costs.

Rick Klugman

Votes: 9251

Owls are quite fond of eating snakes. They catch them the same as they do with any other meal. Owls have binocular vision, just as we do. You’ll notice both eyes facing forward,

As opposed to many birds that have them on the sides.

This binocular vision along with their keen eyesight gives them the depth perception they need to judge distances making it easier to hit their mark with a single strike. Then, it’s just a simple matter of using their sharp talons to take their meal home to the kids.

Mmmm! Bet it tastes just like chicken!

Alex Gossland

Votes: 7470

Should you look a black bear in the eye?

Mercedes R. Lackey

Votes: 8068

Do owls eat magpies?

Owls will eat anything they can catch, but for a bird the size of a magpie it would take a Great Horned or Great Grey to take one down.

Samuel Perloff

Votes: 8462

Yes, great horned owls are known predators of raccoons, although younger raccoons are probably more in their wheelhouse, adults are known to be taken too, Similarly when escaped in their nonnative range such as Germany, raccoons are said to be unsurprisingly vulnerable to the Eurasian eagle-owl, a larger cousin of the great horned owl.

Adult raccoons are much heavier than great horned owls and far from defenseless but great horns have terribly powerful feet with massive talons, strong enough to pierce the skull of a raccoon. These impressive owls can handle several prey multiple times their own weight including but not limited to: woodchucks, skunks, foxes, domestic cats, turkeys, great blue herons, geese and so on. The main prey of the great horned owl are small rodents and sometimes rabbits and hares.

Stefan Pociask

Votes: 1537

Afraid? Depends. No eagle worth his beans will ever admit to being afraid of the measly owl. It would be simple enough to say “Well, duh… the eagle is bigger. Of COURSE it’s not afraid!” But that just isn’t always the case. Bigger is not always badder.

For instance… which is stronger? Stronger talons? Stronger wings? Stronger beaks? Stronger pound for pound? Stronger in who would win a fight? None of those can be answered by simply looking at the size difference. That doesn’t always tell the story.

This eagle is 2X or more, heavier than the owl. The wingspan of eagle, about 1.5X – 2X wingspan of owl. The size of the eagle’s feet, with talons, about 1.5X the size of the owl’s deadly feet. It would be fairer to the eagle to say it despises the Great Horned Owl. Probably as much as the Osprey despises the Bald Eagle. What goes around, comes around.

But for those who know about these things… no one will say “I’ll bet on the Bald Eagle, every time, against the Great Horned Owl”. The smart money wouldn’t give any odds other than 50/50… a toss-up, despite the eagle’s overwhelming size. To many, many wild animals… including the Bald Eagle… the Great Horned Owl can be a real son of a bitchin’ terror!

Eagles and these owls have a real tumultuous relationship. They constantly harass each other, kill/eat each other’s young, battle over nests (which have always been built by the eagle), and generally just don’t like each other. Their major beef with each other nearly always stems from the fact that these owls don’t build nests… they steal them. Pound for pound, the Great Horned is far tougher. This owl is meaner. And as far as being stronger… if we are talking about grip strength… as someone who has been held in the clutches of both these birds, I’ll tell you that the owl’s grip was stronger, despite eagle feet being so much bigger and thicker. You want to know how this can be, right? I thought you’d never ask! But… if you know me, you also know that I never get directly to the main point, if a detour would give us an opportunity to learn some other relevant thing. So, before I answer that, I’ll give you a quick lesson on writing bird names. You’ll like this. It’ll make you feel smart, once you understand the method and start applying it to your bird discussions.

At the moment, we are discussing the Great Horned Owl and the Bald Eagle. There are 14 letters in this owl’s name, and 9 in the eagle’s. When people who work with birds as an occupation or hobby, write their names, they use an international, 4-letter, abbreviation code in all English speaking countries, so as not to keep writing long names like Bald Eagle, Great Horned Owl, or Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker. If the bird’s name consists of two words… you take the first two letters of each word, and capitalize them. Bald Eagle = BA+EA… or BAEA. That’s the code for Bald Eagle. If it has 3 words, you take first letter of first two words + again, first two letters of last word. Great Horned Owl = G+H+OW = GHOW. Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker = Y+B+SA = YBSA. Go on, now… go impress your friends with this nerd/cool bird knowledge! There are some exceptions, so the full rules are officially listed here: Four-letter band codes. Okay, so now back to our story…

Let’s start with what and how each of these raptors hunt and kill. The BAEA is known as the fish-eating eagle. Mostly fish. Swooping low across the water, he dips his talons in, snags the fish, and then lands to eat it. They generally start eating right away (and close your ears if you’re squeamish, but… yes, even if their food is still alive).

Same deal if they catch a rabbit, or whatever. They hold the prey down by standing on it, and rip shreds off to swallow. The prey eventually dies from shock in most cases.

GHOWs, on the other hand, kill and eat differently. They generally grab and hold, then use their incredibly strong talons to crush the rib cage, making it impossible to breathe. Much like a constrictor snake, when the prey exhales, the grip gets tighter. The GHOW will stay in place until the prey is suffocated, then swallow it whole whenever possible; if it is safe to do so, on the ground. If not, the next choice is fly to a higher point to swallow it.

They also kill prey larger than what they can crush. In this case, they break the spine with their nearly machine-like power grip. This allows them to instantly paralyze and kill animals as big as foxes.

In these cases, they will of course, tear the meat into pieces. The main difference here, between the BAEA and GHOW is that the owl crushes to death first. Therefore, they need the stronger grip. Eagles and hawks carry with their talons. Owls crush with theirs.

Completely different set-ups, which isn’t surprising, since they are completely different kinds of raptors. The tendons and the whole mechanical leverage system is different, in the feet of these two types of birds, because they use them in different ways. Add to that the fact that eagles and hawks have 3 talons in front and one in the rear… while owls have 2 talons in front and 2 in the rear… and that just makes for two completely different kinds of feet. We generally don’t notice these kinds of things right away, because it’s hard not to be simply overwhelmed by the massive, sharp, deadly weapons that these birds have in their feet! GHOW grips are stronger; strong enough to puncture a human’s skull, right into the brain, if it felt it had a reason to. That scenario is very unlikely… but it could if it wanted to. Remember, they land and crush. Eagles swoop and grab. This makes them extremely bad-ass! Their strength and bad-assery is far out of proportion to their size.

GHOW, in fact most owls, don’t build nests. They steal them, or just get there first and lay claim to them. They use cavities in trees; squirrel nests (which comes with the added benefit of their first day’s meal, built right in!); they use empty hawk or eagle nests; but not always empty! Many an eagle or hawk has had their entire family consumed, while they just stepped out for a minute; only to come back to a GHOW having taken over. Eagles just aren’t as invested in fighting (except with another eagle during mating season!) An eagle might spend a whole year building a nest, only to have a GHOW take it over. In flight, the eagle has the advantage. But in a nest or on the ground… if a GHOW gets a grip near the spine of the eagle, that would be very bad news for the eagle once the crushing begins. So even though BAEA knows he should be able to beat the smaller GHOW, it really is a great risk that may not be worth it, against the pitbull-like Great Horned Owl. In fact… a German Shepherd vs. a Pitbull might be a very apt analogy.

Add all this to the fact that owls have night vision, fly silently, and do very well flying in dense forest (so, let’s make that a ninja pitbull!)… and you can see why this epic, millenniums-old conflict, between these two seemingly mis-matched killer birds is not likely to be resolved anytime soon. Generally, their only interaction involves nests and/or nestlings. But you can see why the great Bald Eagle does not take lightly, the presence of a Great Horned Owl, in the neighborhood. They are some mean hombres. If looks could kill…

As far as the actual emotion of fear… there is a structure in the bird brain called the dorsal ventricular ridge (DVR) that is said to perform the same functions as the mammalian amygdala, which in turn is involved in the feeling of, and reaction to, fear. Since eagles allow themselves to be bullied by a single Great Horn regarding nest ownership, I’m thinking they weigh their options, and react to the attack by GHOWs by retreating, unless the circumstances somehow give them the advantage. Fear? Caution? Wisdom? Hard to say, exactly.

As far as the GHOWs… their enormous eyeballs (same size as a humans, in that small body!) don’t leave as much room in their skull for a big brain. So as to why they decide to pick on these big eagles with so much fearlessness and reckless abandon… they may just be a little too dim to know better. Nobody told them that they are smaller than the eagle. It seems to work!


[1] – [3] Photos by Stefan Pociask

[4] Photo by Vincenzo Penteriani

[5] Photo by Stefan Pociask

MJ Lejer

Votes: 8359

Why do snakes eat head first?

Ever watch a pelican turn a fish around in its mouth until the head is at the back of it’s throat with the tail still sticking out his bill? That way all the scales are pointing backwards too and slip down his throat far easier.

Same principal with snakes, they turn a mouse around so it goes down head first. The legs fold back, the fur is smooth going that way — all animals prefer to have something go smoothly down their throat rather than backwards, it just makes sense.

When you pat a cat or dog, you don’t pet their fur backwards, you pet it head to tail, it’s normal.

Zuberi Omari Sebu

Votes: 1244

Rats, rabbits, and snakes.

J Marcella Travis

Votes: 5680

Do owls eat kittens?

Yes they do. Pretty much all birds of prey do.

Heather Frigiola

Votes: 3007

Why are birds such as eagle, heron, owl not afraid of snake and can easily catch and eat snake?

The first part of your question is answered by the second part: These birds are not afraid of snakes because they eat them. It would be hard to eat if you were afraid of your food.

Nearly every type of animal in nature has a natural predator. This includes snakes. Snakes are just as edible as any other animal, and so, nature has produced predators that will eat them. If all of the eagles, herons, and owls disappeared, some other type of predator might start eating snakes more often in order to fill that ecological niche.

Steve Lee

Votes: 9586

How much force/punch would it take to burst open a pro punching bag in a few blows?

given that punching bags are meant to be punched WITHOUT breaking, I would be extremely intimidated by anyone with the ability to blow one open.

If you could, you would essentially be the hardest hitting person whos ever lived. Even Mike Tyson never did anything like that. Your hands are literally lethal weapons at that point

That or you got your punching bag from china

Tim Drozinski

Votes: 6785

Do snakes eat apples?

No. Snakes are obligate carnivores. They must eat other animals, and trying to eat (or feed them) fruit or vegetables will result in them either being sick or malnourished. This is because their body is unable to synthesize necessary amino acids from plants, they need to get them directly from animal-based food.

Linda Am

Votes: 250

Birds of prey and large kingfishers eat snakes. Probably easy to swallow with no legs.

Australian kookaburra


Votes: 1866

The first thing to know about surviving a lion attack is to not run. It should not surprise you that a lion is way faster than you, but in case you need numbers: the fastest human to ever live, Usain Bolt, can run 27.79 miles per hour. A lion can run 50 miles per hour. So stand still.

As One Of The Quora Answers Put It :

If you run, you die tired

If I got lost on an African safari and came face-to-face with a growling lion, what should I do to garner the best chance of survival?

The second thing you should do is to try to understand what lion wants from you ( Hunting Or Threatened ) .

Lions that are feeling threatened will swish their tails back and forth, much like your cat does. Lions that are hunting try to stay as still as possible, holding their tails rigid.

Discover wildlife says : “Being charged by a lion when you are on foot is extremely frightening.” No matter how scared you are, do not run, and do not turn your back to the lion. If it helps, Discover Wildlife says that “most charges are mock charges, so you will usually be fine.”

Moreover, don’t climb a tree, because lions can climb trees better than you can. There’s a reason they’re the top predator.

You might have also heard that fire wards off lions. This worked in The Jungle Book. It will not work for you. Most lions are not afraid of campfires and will walk around them to see what’s going on.

But if you want advice rather than a reminder that you’ll likely lose this fight, another member of Quora has some. Rory Young, a Safari Guide, has this to say:

If you see stalking indications then raise your arms above your head and wave them and most importantly SHOUT YOUR HEAD OFF. If you have something in your hand then throw it at the lion. Even if the lion charges you do not run. Believe me this can be extremely intimidating. They charge at 80 km per hour and the roaring is deafening. If you have frozen and then lion is not approaching but not leaving either then start to back slowly away. If it starts to move then freeze immediately. If you have frozen and then lion is not approaching but not leaving either then start to back slowly away. If it starts to move then freeze immediately.

Source : How to Survive a Lion Attack

Image Source : Google

Mercedes R. LackeyLarry Dixon

Votes: 9441

That depends entirely on the size of the owl and the size of the eagle. Great Horned Owls regularly drive Bald Eagles off their nests, and a zoo that made the mistake of keeping Great Horned Owls and Bald Eagles in the same enclosure discovered half-eaten Bald Eagles and very fat Great Horned Owls one morning.

But a Philippine Monkey-Eating Eagle, a Harpy Eagle, or a Stellar’s Sea Eagle could probably take not only a Great Horned Owl, but a Eurasian Eagle Owl, which is much larger.

Owls range in size from this:

To this:

Eagles range in size from this:

I can’t find an image with something for scale, so he’s about 40–45 cm long; roughly 16 inches, or smaller than a Redtail Hawk.

To this:

With dude, for scale.

Yeah. That big. Feet the size of a grown man’s hand.

Dominic Monaghan

Votes: 428

Do owls eat snakes? What do they normally eat?

Owls eat snakes. All birds of prey will take snakes if given the chance. Owls generally eats mice and rats.

Samuel Perloff

Votes: 4155

Yes, it can. Although venomous snakes are not usually a regular prey item for owls, owls like other birds are vulnerable to dying from being envenomed. More major predators of snakes, venomous or not, are diurnal birds of prey. In North America, these tend to be certain hawks such as Buteo, there is a huge buteonine raptor in South America, the solitary eagle, which may be a specialized snake predator and also whole subfamilies and species of raptors in Africa and Eurasia that specialize largely in snake prey. As for the copperhead, while usually considerably less aggressive than their cousin the cottonmouth, they will certainly use their venom to protect themselves from a predator although many times it is not enough for a venomous snake to bite a bird of prey, the latter often kills and starts ripping apart the snake before the venom takes effect.

I know of an instance of a barred owl, not a regular snake predator and one that I know of no cases where they’ve hunted venomous snakes, found dead from venom on the ground right by a burrow holding both a copperhead and an eastern diamondback rattlesnake.

Adam Wu

Votes: 6330

Why are spears underappreciated in media than swords, which in fact is much better due to its range, power and speed?

Spears are “underappreciated” because they are better weapons.

Too much better, in fact.

Their effectiveness is such that over time it became much less socially acceptable to carry a spear in public, outside of a professional context.

The implicit threat level of someone carrying a spear is immensely greater than someone carrying a sword, and that kind of threat level has a profoundly negative social impact.

Carrying a spear in polite company in many historical contexts would have been equivalent to open carrying an assault rifle into a convention of Hippies.

In many places it was flat out illegal

Vineet Billorey

Votes: 4085

Are owls stronger than vultures?

Kim Voyles

Votes: 4298

Do all snakes sleep with their heads off the ground?

I had two pythons and a corn snake, I don’t recall that they slept with their heads off the ground. So, not as far as I am aware.

Kevin Einstein

Votes: 9026

What eats a snake other than an owl?

Many animals prey on snakes…

Mostly they are the ones immune to snake venom:



Honey badgers



And many other types of birds, which aren’t immune to snake venom but can avoid getting bite. Some are immune only in small dosage, so can take a few bites without dying or being paralyzed. Its al…

Steve Hawkins

Votes: 7025

Why do black snakes eat other snakes?

The term “Black Snake” usually refers to the Eastern Ratsnake (Pantherophis allegheniensis), so that’s what I’m going to address here. Since common names for animals and plants are inexact, please make sure this is the animal you’re referring to.

In the case of the Eastern Ratsnake, they don’t. Ratsnakes eat rodents, birds, and eggs with gusto, but in decades as a devoted herpetologist, I’ve never seen any reliable evidence of one consuming another snake. The confusion comes in because some other species may be referred to by the same common name, or people may be confusing them with one or mor

John Scanlon

Votes: 1192

Are there any snakes that don’t eat birds?

Yes, most snakes don’t eat birds.

Out of more than 3000 living species of snakes, many are too small to eat even a hatchling hummingbird, and many of those small species are specialist feeders on ant brood (eggs, larvae and pupae), slugs, earthworms, centipedes, or tiny amphibians and reptiles.

Among snakes not limited by size alone, there are still many dietary specialists that wouldn’t recognise a bird as a potential food item, but stick to snails, frogs, fish, crabs, reptiles, or mammals.

Snakes that do eat birds are a small minority, and there would be very few true bird-eating specialists. M

Jonathan Crowe

Votes: 4238

How can ring necks eat other snakes when they’re so small?

The answer is what you’d expect: they eat snakes that are even smaller than they are. Baby and juvenile snakes of many species are smaller than adult ringnecks, for example.

Though it’s a little bit more complicated than that. There are a lot of different subspecies of Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus), and different ringnecks appear to eat different things. I once kept Southern Ringneck Snakes (D. p. punctatus), which were supposed to feed on earthworms (see photo above). The Northern Ringneck Snakes (D. p. edwardsii) native to my area apparently feed on red-backed salamanders (Plethodon),


Votes: 9041

Since Saitama sneezed all Jupiter’s gas, can you calculate how much solid can be destroyed with the same sneeze?

I don’t know about that, but Saitama can easily destroy planets now.

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