What are the dynamics of owl families?

by OBDK on December 01, 2020

With one of the biggest family holidays only days away, we thought it’d be fun to dive into owl families! We’re quickly approaching the time of year where owls will start picking the mates with whom they want to have clutches in springtime. 

The Owl Dating Game

Male owls will look for a mate by calling out late in the day in an attempt to woo a female owl. Once the female is intrigued, the male owl will start to show off for her by puffing out his feathers, bringing her food, or flying around.

The female will then make a decision if the man is right for her. If she decides she wants to be with him, they’ll spend more time together and preen each other, which consists of rubbing their bills across each other’s faces. 



The number of eggs a female lays depends on her species and the amount of food available. The more prey there is around, the more eggs she’ll lay. Once laid, she’ll sit on the eggs to incubate them. During this time, the male will go out to hunt and bring food back to the nest. 

Owl eggs are more spherical in shape than other bird’s eggs. They’ll usually be laid every two days, and will hatch a few weeks later in the order in which they were laid. This means that the first eggs laid could be 2-3 weeks older than the youngest. 


When the owlets are hatched, they’re helpless. They can’t fly or maintain their body temperatures for the first several weeks of life. The mother owl will sit on them, called brooding, to keep them safe and warm.

When the males bring back food, the female will rip tiny pieces off to feed the babies. If there isn’t enough food to go around, the owlets who were born first have the advantage. They’ll be more aggressive and be able to get the limited food supply while the younger and weaker owlets starve. 

By the Fall, the owlets will be full sized owls and able to be completely independent of their parents. 


What does your family have in common with owl families? Share with us on social media and be sure to tag @theowlbrand