Barn Owl Prey, All Types

Barn Owl Prey, All Types


When you dissect an owl pellet, you know you’ll find the bones of the various prey that owls eat on a daily basis. 

But how much do you know about the different types of prey itself? 

Make the full connection between owls, their prey, and their ecosystem to get the most out of your dissection experience. (Need to stock up on pellets? Order more here.)

Let’s go over a few of the common species of prey that owls eat, so the food web can be put in better perspective:

Mice

The term “mouse” applies to any of the 38 species that are in the genus Mus. Mus is the latin term for mouse. Within that category, there are 4 groups: spiny mice, shrew mice, rice field mice and house mice, and African mice. 

They are usually nocturnal and live on the ground, although some types of mice are good at climbing and swimming. They tend to live in burrows that they dig themselves using their teeth. 

When it comes to their diet, it varies. They’ll eat: insects, plants, worms, seeds, and more. House mice can produce 1-12 offspring in each litter when they reproduce and they can reproduce up to 14 times in a year.

Frogs

Frogs are amphibians, which means they need water or a wet environment in order to survive. They have large eyes and no tail, and although most live in the water, some live on land, like in trees. 

They eat insects and worms, and some will even eat other frogs or reptiles. 

Frogs lay eggs in the water, usually hundreds to thousands at a time. Tadpoles hatch in a matter of days and then become fully-fledged frogs in 2-3 months. 

Amphibians are cold blooded and very susceptible to the elements. Too much sun or wind can hurt them, and they’re usually the first ones to die off when their habitat is disturbed. 

Snakes

There are more than 3,000 species of snake on the planet. Like frogs, they are also cold blooded. 

All snakes are carnivores and nearly all of them eat their prey whole. They locate prey by using their tongues to smell,  through sensing heat from warm-blooded prey, or by recognizing the vibrations of traveling animals through their lower jaw. 

Snakes breed during the warmer months. Most lay eggs and unless they’re the python, they tend to leave their eggs alone. 

Rabbits

There are more than 30 species of rabbit throughout the world. They are originally from Europe and Africa. 

They tunnel into the ground like mice do, although their homes are called warrens. The females are usually the ones who take care of this. They tend to live in large groups, and are known for their reproductive habits. Rabbits reproduce 3-4 times a year, with 3-8 babies each time. However, only 15% of the babies survive the first year. 

Rabbits are herbivores and eat grasses, plants like broccoli or brussels sprouts, fruit, seeds, roots, and bark.

Get the most out of your dissection experience. These are all prey varieties that you could find in your pellets! Order some here and see what you can find!
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