Are Squirrels Afraid of Owls?

Owls have a scary look that frightens other animals and is nocturnal, mostly prey at night. Squirrels are small animals that fear owls.

Are Squirrels Afraid of Owls? Squirrels are afraid of owls because they are powerful natural predators and carnivores. They have a special vision that allows them to see at night and attack squirrels in the afternoon, dawn, and dusk. Moreover, they have specialized talons and beaks that grab the prey and tear it into pieces. You can use fake owls in your yard and gardens to keep squirrels away.

Owls can move their heads at an angle of 270 degrees which helps them to look around. For example, they can find squirrels just by moving their heads.

Why are squirrels afraid of owls?

The food chain provides continuity in the ecosystem in which each living organism is the food of the other. The chain continues and maintains balance in the animals’ and birds’ ecosystem.

Squirrels and owls are also part of this chain in which the owl is a bigger creature and eats small animals as a food source.

The squirrels have a sharp sense of smell, sight, and hearing, which tells them about danger, and they run in their burrows or nests.

Except for this sharpness, the owl can prey on them because it is more expert in preying on small animals. 


A predator-prey relationship between animals and birds provides food for them. For example, owls are bigger and keep an eye on their prey when they see it.

Moreover, these are the natural predators that hunt the animals by using their tricks. It does not make the other animal feel its presence and attacks it without making noise.

It is known as an opportunistic predator, due to which it eats whatever it finds. They can eat the amount that comes in the talons.

Small owls do not prey on these animals and birds and take their parents’ leftovers. However, when it grows up, it can prey on larger animals.

Owls are Carnivores

These animals rely on meat because they are carnivorous and do not eat herbs, plants, seeds, and fruits for survival.

Moreover, these have a good sense of hearing and vision which helps them prey on animals. Then, it can grab prey out of the snow in winter using its claws.

Other animals are at a distance, so birds and squirrels are in approach as they are near the trees. Furthermore, these do not have teeth to chew, so they use their long beak to tear the animal.

They grind the bones and ribs of the prey by using their sharp bills, which crush them into pieces. It becomes difficult to digest when they engulf the whole animal without tearing it into pieces.

Owls Are More Powerful

The predator is more powerful than its prey, so it has a firm grip on it. The grip loses when the predator cannot control the prey with its claws or feet.

They are powerful creatures having strong claws and sharp bills, which do not allow the prey to get rid of them.

The great horned owl can squeeze almost 250 to 480 pounds of heavy weight with its feet. Then, it tears the prey with its talons and bill on its way when it captures the prey.

Moreover, their feathers are designed in such a fantastic way that they do not flutter as they fly. It helps in remaining silent so that the prey does not get alert by its arrival.

Its talons can catch animals by inserting them into their back. They become unconscious by this attack, and the owl tears them into pieces quickly.

Owls can attack at night

The feature that makes an owl unique from others is its eye structure. It does not have an eyeball; instead, the eye contains tubes that do not move.

It can easily see at night, and most species prey at night. In addition, it has binocular vision, due to which it can focus on small animals.

Moreover, depth perception allows them to take squirrels out of the nest. Most species prey at night, while a few can hunt during the day.

They come out of their nest at dawn and dusk, so owls keep focusing on them at that time. It is the easiest prey for them which they enjoy eating.

How do owls attack squirrels?

They glide through the air and move towards the ground by using their sense of vision to focus on their prey. In addition, owls move using stealth technique, which helps them fly silently.

Furthermore, they move to the ground to hunt squirrels using two methods. In the first method, it moves towards the ground by swooping and holding its prey in talons firmly.

In another method, it comes above the squirrel in the air and suddenly drops itself on the prey. Both methods are efficient; the prey comes in their claws, which become the food.

These become habitual of the signs of owls attack, and these cannot make an instant move to protect them and become their food in no time.

What type of owls can attack squirrels?

Many species of owls attack and eat squirrels. Barred owl is medium in size and eats pine, flying, and ground squirrels.

Barn owls prey at night, but in Britain, they hunt in the daytime. They attack ground and flying squirrels.

Spotted and great-horned owls are found in North American forests, where they hunt for flying squirrels.

Great gray owls are present in the northern hemisphere and eat squirrels and other small mammals. Tawny and Ural owls attack and consume them.

Snowy, boreal, and long-eared owls eat as a food source and come in this category. In rare cases, burrowing owls eat this mammal and live in burrows made by squirrels.

Do fake owls work to keep squirrels away?

Many people use fake owls in their gardens to keep the squirrels away.

These do not get scared of the owl decoys if you keep them in the same place in the garden. However, they are afraid of owls because of their attack.

These animals can damage the gardens because they dig the ground for burrowing purposes and hide nuts for winters that disturb plants’ growth.

Many types of decoys look natural and help scare them into entering the garden or yard. Some have a solar light in their eyes which lightens up at night and is visible to other mammals.

A feature of the moving owl’s head terrifies the other birds and squirrels.

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