Do owls migrate?

Do owls migrate? No, owls do not migrate like songbirds. But during winter, owls are forced south of their range in search of food.

Do owls migrate?

Some species of Owl

While some species of Owl migrate to the equator during the winter season of the year, most remain in their habitat, even using the same nest in summer and winter. There are a few exceptions, such as the small, insect-eating Owl and the snowy Arctic-dwelling Owl.

Migration of Snowy Owl

Snowy Owls migrate. But this doesn’t mean the onset of winters in the Arctic means that an entire population of Owl to move south. Instead, different strategies for different owls still exist.

It appears that Snowy Owls typically migrate during their first year of life; behaviour is not uncommon to many bird species. This is readily observed during an irruptive year when large numbers arrive in southern Canada and the Northeast United States. Most of these migrants are younger than a year.

We also have an idea that not all owls fly south during fall and winter. Most winters, locals inform us that some snowy owls spend the winter hanging around the villages of Utqiagvik. Often, these are older females. Some Snowy Owls can also be found around polynyas, areas of the open ocean surrounded by sea ice, and open bays and leads that attract waterfowl and provide hunting opportunities.

Breeding and Hunting of Owls

:small_blue_diamond: Breeding

Owls are known as birds of prey, which means they have to kill other animals to survive. Their diet includes invertebrates (such as insects, spiders, earthworms, snails, and ■■■■■), fish, reptiles, land and water animals, birds, and mammals.
The main diet depends on the Owl species.

For example, Scops and Screech Owls eat many insects, while Barn Owls eat many rats, shrews, and voles. Large Owls like the Eagle will hunt birds, foxes, and birds that come in the size of ducks and game birds. Other species have chosen fish, such as the Asian Fish Owls (Ketupa) and the African Fishing Owls (Scotopelia). Although some species have this type of food preference, many owls are opportunistic, and they will take whatever prey they find in the area.

:small_blue_diamond: Hunting

All Owls have particular mutations that make them efficient predators. Good vision enables them to find the quarry even in the dark of night. Directional hearing, sensitive, helps to find the hidden prey. Some species can hunt even in complete darkness, using the sound alone to guide them to successful killing. Owl flight is silenced by special wing feathers, which block out the sound of air rushing over the wing. This allows Owl to hunt secretly, taking his victims by surprise. It also enables the Owl to listen to animal movements while flying.

Most species of owl hunt from a perch, such as a low branch, stump, or fence post. They will wait for the victim to appear, descend with open wings, and their nails stretched forward. Some species will fly or glide a short distance from the perch before dropping their prey. In some cases, Owl may fall to the target, fluttering his wings at the last moment.


Some species prefer to soar, or make quarterly flights, to scan the ground below to find the right food. Owl will fly towards it when the target is found, keeping his head aligned with it until the last moment. This is when the Owl pulls its head back and throws its feet forward with its wide claws, two pointing back and two on.
Owls can adapt to their hunting habits depending on the species of prey. Insects and small birds can be snatched up in the air, sometimes after being pulled out of a tree trunk or bushes by the Owl.

Owls catching fish can skim over the water, snatch the fish on the fly or, may perch to the edge of the water, catching any fish or crayfish from nearby. Some species can enter the water to chase fish, water snakes, crayfish, or frogs.

The lifespan of an Owl

:black_small_square: The lifespan of an owl can depend on several factors. Two factors that begin with the Owl’s lifespan are the size of the species and whether the animal is in captivity or not.

:black_small_square: On average, wild owls live for about 9 to 10 years. Owls in captivity can live up to 28 years.

:black_small_square: Owls in captivity tend to stay longer because they are not exposed to the same dangers found in their natural habitats as predators, diseases, or accidents. In captivity, these owls have a great source of food and protection, both of which can enhance their lifespan and livelihood.

:black_small_square: Owls in the wild are not given the same protection and may not survive from one year to the next. The life span of Owl depends mainly on the type of Owl, however, and can vary greatly.

:black_small_square: Snowy owls, one of the largest and most majestic owls globally, are known to be among the longest-lived owls. In the wild, they can live 9 to 10 years, and, in captivity, the Snowy Owl lifespan can be up to 28 years.

:black_small_square: This compares perfectly with the very small Barn Owl, which has an average of only four years of life. Like most birds, the average lifespan of an owl is highly dependent on the species’ size.

Owl Nesting

:black_small_square: Owl species often do not build their nests. Instead, they will thrive in an old nest set up by another animal. The nests are full of bark, feathers, animal fur, and leaves, but by the time the nest is built, the nest has collapsed into a few sticks.

:black_small_square: The Great Horned Owl uses the tree nests of other birds such as hawks, crows, squirrels, and Great Blue Herons, but it will also use tree trunks, broken tree trunks, and wooden platforms sometimes a building or a storehouse. The most widely used nest is that of the Red-tailed Hawk.

:black_small_square: Barred owls often use natural holes in trees, which may be up to 20 to 40 feet high. They can also use adhesive platform nests built by other animals (including hawks, crows, and squirrels), as well as artificial nest boxes.

:black_small_square: Both species of owls often live in specially designed nest boxes. Consider placing a nest box to attract a breeding pair. Be sure to store it well before breeding season. Attach a guard to protect predators from attack by eggs and young.

Identifying the Owl

Both the Barred Owl and the Great Horned Owl are good into their domestic duties by January. The males usually get territory in December and a nesting site in January. Despite the cold, the eggs are laid from late January to February, as this gives the adult bird chicks enough time to grow before the arrival of spring.

Remember: While nesting, owls are very territorial. If an owl falls to the ground near you, it simply focuses on mating and assembling the nests and will chase the intruders into a high-pitched hooting.

:small_blue_diamond: The Great-Horned Owl is very large, with yellow eyes and ear-shaped tufts. When we think of an owl, this is a picture book that we often catch. A nocturnal and aggressive predator, this Owl can take down birds and mammals even larger than them, but it also eats small prey such as mice, frogs, and scorpions.

:small_blue_diamond: Barred Owls are smaller than the Great Horned Owl (but larger than Barn Owls) and are attractive white and brown striped birds. Barred owls usually hunt during the day in February and March in search of prey for females. Active very early in the morning and at night, you can see their old forest found.

The Great Horned Owl is a dangerous threat to the Barred Owl. Although the two species often live in the same habitat, the Barred Owl will relocate to another part of its territory when the Great Horned Owl is nearby. Besides, Barred Owls do not migrate, and they rarely travel more than a few miles from their mating ground.

Reproduction and development of Owls

:black_small_square: Many owls live in cavities in trees or on cliffs, or wooden holes. Barn owls and small Eurasian owls often use cavities in buildings. Some larger owls use older hawks or crows’ nests. Grassland and tundra owls nest on the ground, sometimes on an elevated hummock, while a burrowing owl digs the nest chamber in a rodent burrow. The laughing Owl was a groundbreaking endemic in New Zealand that was driven to extinction in the early 1900s by wild animals.

:black_small_square: The nest hole usually provides an hour or so for both of them during the infertile months. Most owls add no nesting material on the site, but the fur and feathers of the accumulated animals are dormant, and the regurgitated pallets can provide cushions for eggs. When an open nest is used, leaves, grass, or other soft material can be added as lining.

:black_small_square: The tremendous grey Owl sometimes builds its platform nest in a tree. In desert areas, small owls rely mainly on holes made by lumberjacks in large cacti. Extreme competition has been observed among nesting birds, including owls, for a limited number of nesting sites. European starlings’ invasion of the saguaro desert has had a devastating effect on small owls and other reed birds. Aggressive and overcrowded stars live in caves before other species reappear in winter and successfully protect holes against native species.

:black_small_square: Spawning is set aside for young to become independent of their parents when the prey is very large in population. In the northern parts, most owls feed in the spring a month or two before their ancestors, resulting in the incubating Owl being covered with a few inches of snow. Barn owls have been found to build their nests every month of the year or on the northern edge of their range, but the highest insertion rate is in the spring.

:black_small_square: Owls lay more eggs than most timely raptors, with up to 12 clutches of frozen owls. In many lemming years, frozen owls get denser, nest earlier, lay more eggs, and have much higher numbers than when caterpillars are in short supply. Owl eggs are much rounder than other bird groups, with a length of about 1.2 times shorter. They are usually set for two-day intervals, but freezing is not synchronized. The result is that the oldest chicks in a large family can be hatched for two or three different weeks. If the number of victims is insufficient for older owls to feed all the young kids, the young will starve, while the more aggressive older owls will maintain average growth rates and have the ability to arrive.

:black_small_square: While in the nest, the young owls grow up in two successive coats natal down. The down is replaced by small, immature soft feathers in smaller species, a lacier texture than an adult. During this time, about two-thirds of the way to fledging, young owls can leave the nest and spend a few days away from it. In the screech owl, plumage has fine barring, unlike the streaking of the adult.

:black_small_square: The first flight feathers, which appear almost simultaneously, resemble those of an adult but are more pointed. Just a few weeks after its acquisition in autumn, the plumage is transformed into a complete moult that introduces the same feathers as an adult. In large owls, the young feathers resemble those of an adult. The exception is the spotted Owl and the blocked Owl, which are white, with a black marking pattern that differs from that of an adult.

Summary: Most owls nest in natural cavities in trees or in woodpecker holes. Most owls add no nesting material to the site, but the fur and feathers of accumulated prey remain and disgorged pellets may provide some cushion for the eggs.

Frequently Asked question

Following is mentioned some frequently asked questions related to Do owls migrate, which are answered briefly.

1. What eats owls?

The owls are very rarely hunted for food. However, only owls in the nest are at risk of attack. Some birds, such as eagles, falcons, and hawks, can see an owl’s nest from the sky. Animals that eat Feline and canine can also try to take benefit of an unprotected nest.

2. Do owls have nests?

Owls do not build their nests, but sometimes they find empty nests that they can move. Owls like small, closed spaces like a hole in the ground, a cave, or a hole in a tree. People sometimes build owl houses in their backyards to keep rats and mice away.

3. Do owls stay in the same area?

Most owls live alone or near the nest during the breeding season. However, a few species live together or share the habitat with other individuals of the same species. Although not fully understood, owls can benefit in some way or more by sharing the same rooster.

4. Do owls migrate seasonally?

Owl species are nonmigratory. While young Barn Owls may be scattered hundreds of miles from where they hatch, adult Barn Owls do not seem to migrate at certain times of the year, even to the farthest-north parts of their range.

5. Do owls return to the same place every year?

Big ■■■■ Owls are monogamous, and members of the pair live in the same area all year round. The two can stay together for at least five years, perhaps for life. If something happens to one of the two, the survivor usually finds another mate.


This article started from a question of “do owls migrate,” the answer is no, they don’t migrate. This article has thoroughly explained the species of owls, hunting, breeding of owls, the lifespan of owls, and the reproduction and development of owls.

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Do Owls migrate? Usually, owls don’t like to travel but they have to migrate in the winter season in search of food. Most of the species even don’t like to migrate in the winter season. They spend their whole year in the same nest. They are well adapted for the seasons. For instance, they have small feathers as well to provide heat.

do owls migrate?

Survival of owls in the winter season

:small_orange_diamond: Weather is not as effective for animals as it is for human beings. Most of the breeds of animals are totally not affected by the cold or winter season. The same is the case with the owls. They are truly adapted to the cold environment. Nature has created them in that way.

:small_orange_diamond: If anyone is out there in the snow, he would definitely get a frozen bite, or become sick. To assume the worst scenario, he can die if he couldn’t be able to tolerate that coldness of the weather. But speaking of owls, they have opposite natures. They prey on their food and hunt the very best at night.

:small_orange_diamond: So, it can’t be denied that weather does not affect them the way it affects human beings. That is the reason that most of the species of owls migrate neither in winter nor in summer.

Adaptations of owls

Following are the adaptations of owls according to the situation;

Special feathers

:small_orange_diamond: Forgetting warm, owls cannot add up a layer of fat on their body as it would make them too heavy to fly. So, they have a special characteristic for this purpose. As we all know that they are covered with feathers from top to bottom of their body but, we don’t know the fact that they can also produce feathers especially for warmth.

:small_orange_diamond: As they do not have a fat layer, but they do need something to get their bodies warm in a chilling environment. They can produce more feathers deep down on their bodies for getting a warm layer in order to prevent themselves from getting any side effects of cold weather.

:small_orange_diamond: These feathers are shorter in size and are present under their main feathers which are relatively larger in size. Fluffing their feathers along with shivering can warm up the air that is trapped inside their feathers making a lovely warm layer around their bodies which helps them to cope up with the winter season.

:small_orange_diamond: These small feathers play a very crucial role in making that warm layer around them. Their normal or original feathers are not capable of getting them warm.

Special feet

:small_orange_diamond: Their feet are well adapted to the warm weather. They have pretty good blood circulation in their feet and legs to get protection against cold. However, their outer skin of feet still gets very cold when they come in contact with really cold weather.

:small_orange_diamond: But the amazing feature is that they are not at all affected by the chilled skin of the feet. Humans are very affected when they get their skin cold. Their skin often gets dry during chilling seasons. But owls are very smart and always made some amazing changes for getting themselves prepared for winter.

:small_orange_diamond: The one thing that is worth noticing is that owls usually don’t have any pain receptors on the lower part of the body. So, that is one of the reasons that they are not affected if they have cold feet. They don’t suffer through their feet.

:small_orange_diamond: They do have a counter-current system to make them warm. The blood that returns to the body from the feet absorbs the hot air from the newly oxygenated blood that travels from the heart to the toes. With the aid of this system, the cold blood coming to the upper part of their bodies gets warm before they reach the upper parts.

:small_orange_diamond: Not only this, but it is also very smart of them that through this way, the blood that again moves to the lower portion of their bodies does not lose heat while coming down.


Owls are considered as very smart creatures because of their well-adapted behaviors according to the weather they are currently living in. although all of this is given to them by the nature itself they got a plus point of being called smart creatures.

Special ears

:small_orange_diamond: They have very sharp and sensitive ears that can hear a pin drop noise even from hundreds of miles apart. This is also one of their adaptation which helps them a lot in all seasons along with winter.

:small_orange_diamond: Their ears are strangely present in a way like, one of the ears is slightly higher than the other one, and also they have their facial disk set in a way that the sound that comes from anything goes directly into their ear canals which makes them hear even more clearly than normal.

:small_orange_diamond: Due to this feature, they can hear the small or tiny sounds that their prey makes while moving or doing something. Once it has seen the location of any rodent or mouse, then it is very unlikely that they failed to get to them.

:small_orange_diamond: Also because of the silent or muted sound of their feather movement, their prey also don’t get to know usually that anything is coming after them which makes it even easier for the owls because they don’t try to escape as they didn’t listen to anything.

Tigers of Skies

:small_orange_diamond: This is the name for not any human or hero of the world but this title is especially given to the owls. They are known as “Tigers of Skies” because of the way they have adapted themselves in a perfect manner, they truly deserve this title.

:small_orange_diamond: Specifically, this title is assigned to them because they are perfectly made up in such a perfect way for hunting at night when all the rest of the animals are done with their day that is the perfect time for an owl to hunt its prey.

Following are some of the other reasons because of which this title is given to them:


:small_orange_diamond: They have two eyes which work for them like they have more than two eyes. They are positioned in a very ideal manner and are fixed in place but it also allows them to toss their head round to 270 degrees. They have very big and shiny eyes that if any human has that ratio of eyes to the skull, then his eyes would be the size of an orange.

:small_orange_diamond: Other than human beings which only have cone cells in their eyes which makes them difficult to see in the very dark environment. But, owls on the other hand only have rod cells in their eyes which is responsible for their sharp vision at night.


:small_orange_diamond: They owned a very smart hearing technique because as it is written earlier, they have ears located very different from the other one. One is slightly higher than the other which makes any sound waves go straight in the ear canal.

:small_orange_diamond: Paired with a facial disk of feathers that act very similar to satellite, they are capable of triangulating and listening to every sound wave even it is coming from the depth of tons of ice.


:small_orange_diamond: They have beaks made up in a special way. It is sharply pointed and angled downward for a certain reason. And the reason that lies behind this shape of their beak is that even their beak should not come in the passage of the sound waves that are traveling towards them.

:small_orange_diamond: But its beak is perfectly made by nature in its own way. They are as sharp as knives that can cut deep down into their prey, making them out of their breath. It can be said that they are as sharp as scissors to easily their large prey.


:small_orange_diamond: Its feather is shaped like a comb which also has a purpose. It is made in that particular way so that it would be able to break up air through their comb-like feathers and have a silent flight throughout their flight. Their silent flight is especially useful when they sneak up on their prey.


:small_orange_diamond: They have very sharp and powerful talons. The talons of great horned owls are strong enough to prey on skunks and owls are the only natural predator of skunks.

Some amazing facts about owls

Following are some of the facts about owls that are mind-blowing and really make the owl the ideal creature of nature. These are as follows:

:black_small_square: Owls are able to turn their heads to about 270 degrees. They can almost tilt their head all the way back. But not quite.

:black_small_square: Owls have eyes that are able to look far away from their current position. They own far-sighted eyes, also tubular.

:black_small_square: They have super-powered hearing abilities that make them hear from distant places.

:black_small_square: Their specially designed feathers allow them to have a silent flight that makes it easy for them to sneak up on their prey silently.

:black_small_square: Owls usually swallow their whole prey, after swallowing they then waste up the bits that are indigestible.

:black_small_square: Sometimes, it is seen that owls can eat other owls. They often prey on their own species.

:black_small_square: It is quite a harsh fact they first feed the baby owl who is the healthiest among all of their babies.

:black_small_square: They usually sleep in the daylight and their feathers often make them invisible to their surroundings.

:black_small_square: Often they make horrible noises that are too scary to listen to.

:black_small_square: The smallest owl which is also known as elf owl. It often makes its house in the cactus plant or tree.


Owls are animals that are capable of adapting themselves totally according to their surroundings and weather.

Frequently asked questions:

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about Do Owls Migrate:

1. Do owls live in nests?

Some owls, such as the Great Horned Owls, use empty nests in trees or on cliffs, crows, rabbits, or other birds. Many owls simply make holes in trees. These wooden spaces occur naturally but are usually made by lumberjacks.

2. What do owls usually eat?

Owls are birds of prey, which means they have to kill other animals to survive. Their diet includes invertebrates such as insects, spiders, earthworms, snails, fish, reptiles, land and water animals, birds, and mammals.

3. How many species of owls are there?

There are about 250 species of owls are there in an environment. They can live on every continent except for Antarctica.

4. Do owls hunt?

Yes, they hunt the prey for their living. They usually have very strong eyes that help them to hunt easily.

5. Do owls lay eggs?

Normally, they lay eggs that range from 1 to 13 depending on the type of species. The normal breed of owls lays only 2-5 eggs.


Owls play an important role in the environment as predators. They control the population of insects and other small creatures by preying on them. Mammals are a primary prey so it could be really beneficial to humans in the sense that it may reduce the amount of food that is lost because of rodents.