Baby Owls: Everything You Need To Know (With Pictures)

  • Reading time:17 mins read
  • Post last modified:April 25, 2022

Baby owls

Owls are sly and slyly mysterious creatures. However, anyone will be lucky to see an owl in the wild; instead, you’re more able to hear their characteristic hooting sound!

In order to make it even more unlikely that you will encounter a baby owl, we’ve put up this article that contains all you need to know about baby owls, along with a lot of photographs of baby owls. Continue reading if you want to know more about baby owls.

What does a Baby Owls Look Like?

The majority of baby owls are exceptionally fluffy, and they are normally covered in a thick layer of white or grey down. Their heads are generally shaped like hearts, and the eyes of baby owls are often round and black button-like.

A beak in the shape of a hook protrudes from the fluff. Baby owls also have a prominent egg tooth, which is a sharp protrusion from the tip of their beak that allows them to pierce the egg while it is still incubating. Within a week or so of hatching, these are no longer there.

Some newborn baby owls have an unusual appearance, particularly Barn owls, which can have rather noticeable long faces that contrast with their white fluffy bodies. Barn owls are particularly distinctive in this regard.

Baby owls

What Size do Baby Owls Grow?

Even the largest owls, such as the Great Horned owl, Snowy owl, and Eurasian Eagle owl, have relatively small owlets, especially when compared to the size of these birds in comparison to their parents. In the case of snowy owl chicks, for example, they are just 6.5cm (2.5in) in height.

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They reach a height of approximately 2.5 feet when they are fully grown! In the case of Great Horned owls, who are only about 3 inches tall at birth, the situation is somewhat similar.

Owl chicks grow at an incredible rate, but they are also among the smallest and most defenceless of all young birds, due to their small size and helplessness.

In the case of birds of prey, this is quite usual, and it means that the first few days of life are absolutely essential to the long-term survival of these baby owls.

What is the Average Weight of a Baby Owl?

Even the largest owl species’ young weigh only 40g to 60g (2oz) at birth, despite the fact that they are largest species of owls in the whole world. To give you an idea of scale, a normal chicken chick would weigh roughly 30g and a duckling might weigh approximately 50g.

Babies of the great horned owl weigh approximately 35 grams (1.2oz). As a general rule, baby owls are really very small creatures!

The Elf owls as well as the Pygmy owls, two of the world’s tiniest owls, weigh only 40g (1.5 oz) when they are fully grown, and the babies of Elf owls as well as the Pygmy owls weigh only 4g (0.14oz) when they hatch! They are only little larger than the size of a Bumblebee.

Baby barn owls

What does a Juvenile Owl Look Like?

During their first month of life, owl chicks grow and gain weight at an alarmingly rapid rate. Between day 14 and day 28, baby owls can easily double in weight, with their faces becoming flatter and more pronounced as a result of the rapid growth of their bodies.

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The Great Horned owl weighs only 35 grams (1.2 ounces) at birth, but it can grow to weigh 800 grams (28 ounces) in as little as one month! The rich fluffy down starts to give way to more average adult feathers, however the down will last at least 2 months.

It is possible for juvenile owls to leave the nest before they have completely shed their baby feathers, although they will most likely resemble adult owls after about 14 weeks.

What is the Proper Name for a Baby Owl?

In the early stages of development, when they are still covered in fluffy down and have not yet developed feathers or adult plumage, baby owls are referred to as owlets.

What is the Name for a Group of Baby Owls?

Finding a gathering of owls (a parliament or congress) in the wild is an uncommon sight in and of itself, but finding a group of baby owls in the wild is much more difficult to find.

Owls normally lay very small clutches of eggs, with the average clutch size being around 4 to 6 eggs, while some species lay as few as 1 to 3 eggs and others as many as 10 to 12 eggs, depending on the time and season of the year.

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In general, owls have covert nests with only a limited number of chicks, and chicks of owls only spend 1 to 3 months in the nest before they are ready to fly away and become self-sustaining adults. This explains why it’s so rare to see a group of newborn owls together, even if they’re all from the same nest. 

Baby grey owls

Do Baby Owls Congregate in Large Groups?

It would be extremely uncommon for the baby owls of different mated owl couples to congregate in large groups in one place. It is true that owls are essentially solitary creatures that prefer to sequester themselves inside their monogamous pairs of mates.

For some species of owls, such as the Burrowing owl and the Tawny owl, it is necessary to flock together and live in small groups for at least part of the year, in which case baby owls may spend some time mingling with other baby owls who are not members of their family unit.

A common observation is that newborn owls are quite independent from the time they leave the nest, which is usually around 12 weeks at the most.

Group of baby barn Owls

What do Baby Owls Eat?

Owls are virtually entirely carnivorous, which means that they eat only meat on a regular basis. Larger owls prey mostly on mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish, but little owls are more likely to prey on insects, arthropods, and small rodents, as well as other small animals.

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Baby owls eat whatever their mothers and fathers bring for them and feed them. Their method of feeding the baby owls is to break food into small parts that they can consume whole.

What is the Process by Which Baby Owls Learn to Hunt?

Baby owls have little to no training or instruction in hunting and rely entirely on their instincts to hunt and survive. After leaving the nest, young owls will be on their own in search of food for the first time.

What does an Owl Egg Look Like?

Owl eggs are normally all-white in colour and do not have any distinguishing traits that can be used to identify them. Some owl species lay eggs that are far more glossy and lustrous than others (e.g. the Tawny owl).

How Long does it Take for Owl Eggs to Hatch?

Many species of owls lay eggs that hatch within 30 to 35 days, depending on the species of owls. For example, the Snowy, Little, and Barn owls’ eggs hatch in 31 to 33 days, depending on the species.

It is possible that eagle owl eggs will hatch in approximately 35 days. Thirty-two days appears to be a good average for all owl species when compared to other species. This is also around average for all birds of prey in terms of size.

What Time of Year do Owls Lay Their Eggs?

Owls usually lay their eggs in the springtime, usually no earlier than March. The Blakiston’s fish owl, for example, is a rare species of owl that does not produce eggs every year; if the winter is exceptionally hard and they are unable to find enough food, they may skip a year totally.

Many other species, such as the Great Horned owl and the Barred owl, are noted for laying their eggs relatively early in the year, sometimes as early as the middle of winter, in January and February, according to experts.

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These owl eggs are incubated at extremely low temperatures – owls are capable of successfully incubating their eggs at temperatures as low as -35°F (-37°C) in the wild. If food is short, the female owls may accompany the male owls on his hunting expedition, leaving the eggs unattended in the frigid weather.

Baby Owls

How do Owls Feed Their Chicks?

For the first several weeks after birth, the male owl normally takes on the job of the hunter, bringing food to both the mother owl and the baby owl to feed them. The female owl will shred this food into tiny pieces so that the chick can swallow it in its whole.

Owlets grow at an incredible rate and are able to ingest the same nutrition as their parents within a short period of time. Because they are the largest and strongest in the nest, the older chicks are normally fed first, potentially causing the smallest and most recently born chicks to starve if food is in short supply.

When are Newborn Owls Able to Fly?

Some owl species, such as the Screech owl, have owlets that are ready to fly in less than a month, while others, such as the Great Horned owl, can take as long as 2.5 months to reach this stage.

In common with many other birds of prey, owls are “born ready” and mature swiftly, learning to fly and hunt by instinct rather than by seeing their parents while flying. Owls are quite unique in that their chicks are able to live independently of their parents quite rapidly at an early age.

When do Newborn Owls Leave Their Nests and Where do They Go?

When compared to other bird species, baby owls are relatively quick to leave their nests, with some departing the nest after only four weeks or so. Other owl species, such as Barn owl owlets, will remain in their nests for a longer period of time, possibly as long as 10 weeks with their parents.

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This is nevertheless a rapid transition when compared to other birds, which frequently remain with their parents for the balance of the spring and summer at the very least.

Baby Owls in nest

Do Owls Re-use Their Nesting Sites?

Owl nests are often in bad condition and should not be reused – after all, they are not known for their nest-building abilities! As an alternative, owls are opportunistic nesters who will take their chances at finding a suitable nesting site in any environment that is suitably safe.

If at all possible, they will avoid constructing a substantial nest completely. Instead, they would prefer to nest in tree hollows or abandoned structures. Aside from that, they are really good at taking the breeding grounds (nesting sites) of other birds.

How Long do Newborn Owls Stay with Their Mothers and Fathers?

Owl babies do not remain with their parents for very lengthy periods of time, perhaps as little as one month. These behaviors of not remaining with their parents for long are rather common among birds of prey, who are quick to become independent of their parents and create their own territories before the following winter arrives.

Do Owls Leave Their Young to Fend for Themselves?

The owl parents are devoted to their offspring, despite the apparent rapid change from a baby owlet to a fully fledged owl. Owl parents will not abandon their young ones if humans handle them, and they will not quickly abandon a nest if other predators visit their nest.

What Causes Baby Owls to Sleep with Their Heads Down?

When babies are sleeping, it’s possible that they’ll fall asleep in a slightly slumped position with their heads pointing down towards the ground. This is due to the fact that their heads are huge and heavy, and they are physically unable to hold them up during the first few days of their lives.

Baby owls

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