Can Owls Walk? Everything You Need To Know

  • Reading time:7 mins read
  • Post last modified:April 26, 2022

Walking owl shows his long leg

Can Owls Walk?

Birds are one of the most beautiful creatures that were created and since that time till this, birds have been thriving by evolving. With adaptation and evolution, these birds are capable to thrive terrestrially, aquatic and in the sky.

Yes, it’s true that owls can walk. However, they are never seen moving on the ground, until and unless if they are wounded or fragile.

Another reason why owls don’t walk is because it increases their chances of getting hunted. Owls usually only come to the ground, if they have grasp their prey.

Do Owls Walk Or Hop?

Yes, owls can walk as well as hop. However, they will enjoy walking over hoping, on the ground. Although it’s a very rare case, one might find an owl on the ground.

These owls are either found in some other bird’s nest or siting on tree and looking for food or flying. Once they are ready to capture the prey, they would come to the ground and grasp the prey.

How Quick Can Owl Be In Walking?

Although people believe, that the legs of owls are short, but they are half the size of their body. However, the legs are tapered and covered with feather. This is the reason they are never visible.

These legs are sturdy and strong when it comes to attacking a prey. There is an owl, which attacks its prey from the ground. This is also a reason, why they are super- fast in walking. This is the Burrowing owl.

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They grasp they prey by attacking them from the ground. Although majorly all the owls never spend their time on ground, instead they will attack from the trees.

Burrowing owl walking with his long legs

Can Owl Walk Backwards?

Yes, Owls are completely capable of walking in the reverse manner. This is because of their talons, where 2 are in the front side and 2 at the back side. This positioning helps in maintain a good equilibrium and can walk quickly in both directions, front and backward.

Why Some Birds Walk And The Rest Hop?

Majorly all the birds are capable of both hopping and walking. However, the flexibility of the neck and its eyesight has a major role in its ground movement. Owl is capable to move its head to an angle of about 270 degrees.

This movement is not unidirectional, its bidirectional. However, they cannot move or roll the eyes, the head movement is sufficient. This head movement keeps them alert and at bay from predators.

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Similarly, pigeons don’t have the ability to move their head like owl, but can see the forward area completely. However, birds which are not even capable of this much or even 180 degree will instead hop. There is a huge difference between hopping and walking.

It is that hopping covers larger area and saves energy. Whereas walking with slender feet will cover less area. Thus, small size birds usually hop. However, larger birds usually walk.

Why Do Some Birds Walk In A Funny Way?

While walking birds, move their head, which looks quite funny. They are swinging their head; it looks like that. However, they do this maintain the equilibrium of the body, while they are walking. Head bobbing also gives an idea about the depth of the location. So that they are aware if any danger arrives, during walking.

Which Are The Birds Who Cannot Walk?

Hummingbird: Hummingbirds are tiny little birds, which can fly in each and every direction. It can be up or down or sideways or frontways or backward. As they are incapable of walking due to their little fragile legs. However, they are excellent in flying.

Grebes: These are also excellent swimmers and can dive very well. However, are incapable of walking, as their legs are quite delicate. They can run for smaller durations. But the legs are quite at the back side of their body, which makes walking quite difficult for them, without tumbling.

Loons: These birds are also incapable of walking, because of the positioning of legs in such a way. The legs are placed at the back side of their body, which makes walking quite difficult for them, and will definitely fall.

Swifts: These birds have stayed in the sky for throughout their life. Their tiny little feet is incapable of walking and hopping.

Therefore, owls are capable of walking as well as hopping. However, they don’t prefer both, due to the chances of getting preyed by the predator. However, will only come on the ground if they have to grasp the prey.

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