Do Snakes Eat Owls?

Snakes and owls are one of the biggest rivalries in the wild. Owls attack snakes because they have an aerial advantage. Snakes have venom in their body, which they use to defend themselves against them. Throughout this guide, we’ll explain:

 

  • Do Snakes Eat Owls?
  • Nutritional Value of Owls
  • How Does a Snake Capture an Owl?
  • What Type of Owls Do Snakes Eat?
  • Can Owls Kill Snakes?
  • How to Prevent Snakes From Entering Your Yard?
  • How to Protect Your Snakes From Owls?
  • Do Other Birds Eat Snakes?

Do Snakes Eat Owls?

Yes, Snakes do eat owls on occasion. The success of their hunting depends on the size of the owl. If the owl is larger, then the snake will become the prey in this situation.

 

A snake’s diet consists of warm-blooded animals such as small birds and rodents. Other snakes eat insects, frogs, and snakes of different species. Some snake species have their diet mainly for eating bird eggs. 

 

The majority of snakes can be kept as pets. Most snakes will accept eating pieces of meat, prepared food, and dead prey.

 

Nutritional Value of Owls

Owl meat consists of 68% protein and 31% fat. This gives your snake the nutrients needed for it to survive and grow properly. However, you have to consider that 31% of owl meat is fat. Giving your snake too much owl meat will lead to bloating, obesity, and other long-term health problems. 

 

Calories

Owls contain 136 calories per serving. This is enough to help your pet snake sustain itself for a few days. Since it is low in calories, you can feed your snake owl meat at least 2-3 times a week. 

 

Vitamin A

Owl meat consists of 7% Vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin used for growth and development. Vitamin A is also used to prevent problems such as:

  • Fertility issues: Giving your snake some owl meat will give it the protein needed for it to reproduce faster. 
  • Infections: Vitamin A in owl meat can prevent throat, abdomen, and chest infections. Most snakes suffer from upper respiratory infection, so giving them owl meat will help reverse the symptoms. 
  • Night blindness: Most snakes tend to hunt at night. Giving them owl meat will ensure that they can see and hunt their prey in darker areas. 

Calcium

Owl meat has 2% calcium in it. Calcium is needed for strong bones and improved movements. Younger snakes who do not receive a sufficient amount of calcium might not reach their maximum height and be exposed to other health issues. 

 

However, too much calcium will have negative side effects. For instance, giving your snake too much calcium will lead to bloating, gas, and constipation. 

 

The best way to regulate their calcium intake is by understanding the calcium-phosphorus ratio. If the ratio is too high, then it is too much phosphorus for the snake. 

 

Reasonably, you should get a 1:1 calcium-phosphorus ratio. That way, your snake will diet properly without increasing its risk of heart disease. 

 

Phosphorus 

Phosphorus is a mineral found in bones. Along with calcium, phosphorus helps create healthy bones while maintaining your body’s daily functions. 

 

Why is phosphorus important? If you have working kidneys, they work to remove the extra phosphorus in the bloodstream. But, you need to have phosphorus in moderation.

 

Too much phosphorus will lead to body changes that will pull the calcium out of your snake’s body. As a result, it will cause their bones to be weak. High calcium and phosphorus levels will lead to negative calcium deposits in the blood vessels, heart, eyes, and lungs. 

 

When owning a pet snake, controlling their phosphorus and calcium levels is important for their long-term health. Having too much phosphorus or calcium can hinder your snake’s development.  Speak to a vet to ensure that your snake is getting the proper diet they deserve.

 

Iron

Owl meat contains 27% iron. Iron is necessary for maintaining your snake’s immune system. In addition, it is used to reduce fatigue. Having an iron deficiency involves more than your snake’s level of sleepiness. It can make them tired and makes them more sluggish when moving. 

 

Your snake’s muscle metabolism is linked with Iron. A sufficient level of iron will help your snake have the necessary oxygen and endurance needed to survive. Low iron increases the chance of muscle fatigue. Without iron, your snake’s muscles will become inflamed and increase pain. 

 

Too much Iron does have negative effects on your snake. If you give them too much iron, the snake will suffer from vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. On rare occasions, an excessive amount of iron will lead to death. 

 

Overall, taking care of your snake requires you to understand what they can and cannot eat. By having control over their diet, you can feed them owl meat and other sources of protein to keep them healthy.

 

How Does a Snake Capture an Owl?

Both the snake and owl have an equal chance of killing each other in the wild. Before fighting, the snake will attempt to sneak up and attack the owl. The owl will use their wings and talons to fight back, trying to find an opening on the snake to penetrate. 

 

If the snake is able to constrict the owl, then it has an advantage. The snake will wrap the owl around its coils as a way to suffocate it. Venomous snakes have a better chance when fighting owls, as their venom can slow them down and make them weaker. 

 

After successfully subduing the owl, the snake will use its mouth to swallow it whole. At this point, the owl is unable to fight back as it is already engulfed by the snake. 

 

What Type of Owls Do Snakes Eat?

  • Long-Eared Owl 

The long-eared owl is a medium-sized bird that snakes attack, buzzards, porcupines, and even smaller Snakes attack barn owls by invading their nests. 

 

The snake will attempt to grab the owl’s eggs and feed off their children, birds like magpies. These birds are known for their lanky appearance and for being nocturnal hunters. 

 

Long-eared owls tend to roost in dense foliage, where they are unable to be seen by prey. Also, long-eared owls are fast flyers and have the ability to snatch their prey in the darkness. In the spring, you can hear their strange barking calls and loud hoots at night. 

 

  • Barn Owl

You can spot a barn owl by its squarish tail and long wings. Adult barn owls have a variable size mass. For instance, male owls weigh up to 9.2 oz, while female barn owls are slightly larger at 19 oz. 

 

Snakes attack barn owls by invading their nests. The snake will attempt to grab for the owl’s eggs and feed off their offspring. Once the snake has the barn owl in its jaws, it will continue to devour it until it is fully digested in its body. 

 

Can Owls Kill Snakes?

It depends. When a snake is fighting against an owl, the winner is determined based on its size. For example, if the owl is larger than the snake’s circumference, it will be more likely to kill the snake. 

 

On the other hand, if the snake is larger than the owl, it will be easier to construct it. Through constriction, the snake can inject its venom into the owl’s blood and kill them. If the snake is nonvenomous, it will be more difficult for them to win against an owl. 

 

Because of its power and size, the horned owl is the snake’s most common predator. Usually, owls tend to attack younger snakes because they are easy prey. Adult snakes are more intimidating and are well equipped to protect themselves. 

 

Owls can kill snakes by approaching them quietly. Once they are within range, they kill the snake quickly and immediately. The owl has a similar strategy as other birds. It will lift their prey in the air or confront them while they’re alive. 

 

How to Protect Your Snakes From Owls?

If you are a snake owner, you’ll want to create an environment where your snake can grow. If owls are your main concern, make sure that you keep your snakes inside their tank. That way, your snake will remain protected from them.

 

Also, you’ll want to keep your owls away from your snake. Have separate rooms for your bird and snake pets to reduce the chances of them fighting each other.

How to Prevent Snakes From Entering Your Yard?

If you’re afraid of having snakes in your backyard, try creating a fake “Owl Scarecrow”  in an attempt to scare them. When doing this, make sure your owl looks realistic. That way, the snake will be intimidated by the owl and less likely to appear in your yard. 

 

Certain owls eat snakes as the main part of their diet. These owls can help with controlling the snake population by keeping the numbers low. However, snakes might decide to stay away from the yard if owls harass them in the area. 

 

On the other hand, the tactics used to keep the snake out of your front yard will be less effective over time. At this point, the snakes will become less fearful of the Owl Scarecrow and are more likely to invade your yard. In this scenario, it’s best to have a real snake-eating owl to keep your yard safe. 

 

 

Do Other Birds Eat Snakes?

Owls are not the only bird that preys on snakes. Other birds around the world have the same predatory nature and tendencies. This includes birds such as magpies and crows. 

 

In addition, eagles and hawks are major threats to snakes. Some birds act as specialized hunters as their diet only consists of snakes. For instance, the snake eagle eats different varieties of snakes (i.e., mid-sized cobras). 

 

Raptors such as hawks and eagles have an advantage. They attack the snake by flying at a higher altitude and taking them to great heights. Thus, making the snake defenseless when facing them. 

 

Conclusion

If you have a pet snake, an owl will be their biggest enemy. You can prevent any issues by keeping the snake in captivity and away from the birds. By doing this, you’ll keep your snake alive and protect them from any outside threats. 

ALso read

Do Snakes Sneeze?

Do Snakes Eat Grasshoppers?

Do Snakes Eat Lizards?

Can Snakes Drown?

 

References

What Type of Owl Eats Snakes? – Sciencing.com

Snake Facts sciencetrek.org

Do owls Eat Snakes – WIldexplained.com

 

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