Do Owls Eat Rabbits? Is It Really True Or Just a Hoax?

Do Owls Eat Rabbits

Owls are nocturnal birds that often stay away from humans. It is rare to see owls during the daytime and even during nighttime. It is so because owls do not have their habitats in urban areas.

But in rural areas, they can be seen. One of the major capabilities of these birds is that they are good predators and mostly prey on small mammals and rodents.

But do owls prey on rabbits as well? Do every species of owl eat rabbits? Such questions are often asked when the diet of owls is discussed.

And In this article, I’ve explained all such facts related to owls eating rabbits in detail. 

Do Owls Eat Rabbits?

Yes, almost every species of owls hunt rabbits and they are a good source of food for owls. Owls are the opportunist hunters who predate on anything available.

This also includes wild rabbits and small rodents and large mammals. They are nocturnal birds and extremely successful predators.

However, the size of owls makes them capable of carrying different weights only. For instance, the great horned owls can carry up to four times their own body weight. 

For the majority of owls, the small and baby rabbits are the easiest prey and even screech and little owls can hunt these rabbits.

However, the adult rabbits are often hunted by larger owls like barn owls, hawk owls, great horned owls, and barred owls. 

How do Owls hunt Rabbits? 

Wild owls are skilled and efficient hunters and this makes them very efficient in hunting.

They have good vision and acute hearing skills which makes them compatible with sight rabbits or any other prey from a long distance. For hunting rabbits, owls can use various hunting techniques.

They patiently wait and sit for their prey and hover & scan the ground. Once found, they do a fast attack or dive on the rabbit.

But if the prey is found in rocky or wooden areas, the owls sit and wait for the prey to move. 

This method is often adopted by the barn owls as the prey falls into the trap without any suspicion. In the hovering and scanning the ground strategy, the owls hover around and watch from the sky for prey.

This method also works for the owls as their flights are always silent and the prey cannot detect the danger. Once found, owls launch a sudden attack on the rabbit.

Owls attack by swooping quietly on it and then grabbing them with their sharp talons. These talons break the head of the rabbit and tear them apart before the owl eats. 

Do Owls eat pet Rabbits?

Owls are generally scared of humans which means that they are less found in urban areas. However, they can be found in rural areas.

Owls can attack pet rabbits but it happens in rare cases of extreme circumstances. But to be more careful, you should keep your rabbit in a hutch with a roof covering.

This will offer the best protection and you can also use security lights or noise that will detect the predator once they land near the rabbit.

On detection, the noise device will scare them off and hence protecting the rabbit. 

What makes Rabbit hunting easy for Owls?

Owls have various capabilities that make it easy for them to hunt rabbits at any time. This includes excellent and keen vision, good hearing, sharp talons, and silent lighting.

Owls have the capability of good low light vision which makes them hunt at night. They can turn their head 360 degrees and can easily scan for the rabbits.

Apart from the vision, these birds also have good hearing capability which makes them detect and differentiate prey with their sounds. 

Owls are good predators because they can fly above their prey without making any sound. Their silent flight helps them to scan and attack their prey without getting noticed.

Once attacked, owls grab the prey with their sharp talons which leads to the death of the prey and can tear the prey for consumption. 

Do owls eat Hares?

Yes, hares are also similarly hunted by owls as they do for rabbits. The baby hares are hunted by both small & large owls and the large hares are hunted by large owls only. 

Are Rabbits Afraid of Owls?

Rabbits are the prey animals and have a natural dislike for their predators like owls. If you want to keep rabbits away from your lawn, a scared owl can be used for it as rabbits fear these birds.

But this can work initially only. Eventually, the rabbits will detect that it is not a threat and will revisit your lawn. 


Owls are the prey animals that often prey during the night time. These birds have a strong vision, hearing, and flying capabilities that makes them good predators.

These birds often prey on rabbits and become successful as well. However, as per the size of the owl, the prey is decided.

The small rabbits are hunted by both small and large owls but adult rabbits are hunted by only large owls. 

AT last, I hope this article may have helped you in some way. Thank You For Reading!

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