Owls eat a variety of prey. So when you dissect a pellet, you never know what you’ll discover! Let’s check out some information about some common prey owls eat:
Voles are the most common prey for Barn Owls. These animals are rodents and are part of the family Cricetidae and the subfamily Arvicolinae.1 Voles often cause problems for those who work on farms or orchards, because they burrow underground and can destroy the root system of crops.
Within North America, voles have a large range – from Alaska to Mexico and Guatemala. Within that range, they can be found at a variety of different elevations. These animals are around year-round. Some species are nocturnal, but others are diurnal.1
Mice are also rodents. There are hundreds of species of mice and they can range in size from one to seven inches long. Mice can be found almost everywhere and live in different habitats. Just like voles, they’ll burrow underground.2
Mice are nocturnal and so will be active during the night instead of during the day. They often eat fruits, seeds, and grain.2
Moths are part of the order Lepidoptera, which consists of over 160,000 species of mostly nocturnal, flying insects. These insects live almost everywhere, but won’t be found in polar habitats. They differ from butterflies because they have more muted coloring and stout bodies.3
They have scales on their bodies and their antennae are thick. While butterflies will hold their wings in a vertical position, moths will hold them either out to the sides or wrapped around their bodies.3
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