Owls are the nocturnal birds of prey with the best night vision among the class Aves except diurnal northern hawk-owl and the gregarious burrowing owl. There are a total of more than 200 species of owls all around the world. These birds are also referred silent hunters because their feathers are well-adapted for quiet flight. Like eagles, owls are also one of the most powerful birds. Therefore, in this post, we have listed the Top 10+ Strongest Owls in the world. So, let’s begin.
11) Long Eared Owl
Long Eared Owls are also known as lesser horned owls due to their less size and overall strength. However, these birds are still powerful enough to prey on rodents and snakes.
But sometimes, due to unfavorable circumstances, they primarily feed on insects and other small birds. In this list, we have placed Long Eared Owls in 11th position because of their small size as compared to other big owls.
Also, Long Eared Owls do not build their own nests; they use the nests built by other birds.
Long Eared Owls love to migrate, and unlike many owls, they are not strongly territorial. In addition, they have smaller and weaker feet as compared to Eurasian Eagle Owl.
Long Eared owls will become highly proficient towards blood if contact is made with human skin. That’s why they are one of the most dangerous owls in the world.
Scientific name: Asio otus
Wingspan: medium-sized owl (86 to 102 cm, 3.4 feet)
Weight: 0.16 to 0.45 kg (up to 1 lb)
Distribution: North America, Eurasia, the Middle East, and northern Africa
Diet: Rodents, small birds, lizards, snakes, and other small creatures
10) Spotted Owl
A nocturnal owl that feeds mainly on small mammals and birds is the Spotted Owl. These owls are a species of true owl and make use of cavities found in trees as nests up to 60 meters (197 ft) high. They are currently classified as a near-threatened species by IUCN.
Spotted Owls are also one of the biggest owls, with an average length of 1.5 feet and a wingspan of up to 4 feet. Their favorite foods are flying squirrels and wood rats. And they spent most of their time hunting with a relatively high success rate.
Scientific name: Strix occidentalis
Wingspan: medium-sized owl, (114 cm, 3.74 feet)
Weight: 600 g (1.3 lb)
Distribution: western North America, ranging from British Columbia to Mexico
Diet: flying squirrels, woodrats, bats, hares, other owls
9) Barred Owl
Barrel Owls are the large species of the true owl family that are largely native to eastern North America. These owls are one of the most powerful owls that primarily feed on small mammals and vertebrates. They are also called opportunistic predators, meaning they can use different prey and change their way of hunting depending on external factors.
Barred Owls have long wingspan with relatively short and decurved clams that helps them to gain large clutching force. Regarding vision, barred owls share the same behavior in low light conditions as most owls.
Scientific name: Strix varia
Wingspan: medium-sized owl (96 to 125 cm, 4.1 feet)
Weight: 610 to 1,150 g (1.34 to 2.54 lb)
Distribution: eastern North America, west coast of North America, Pacific Northwest
Diet: flying squirrels, woodrats, bats, hares, other owls
8) Great Grey Owl
Great Grey Owls are one of the biggest owls in the world, with an average body size of 72 cm. Their large wing spans allow them to carry heavy prey. However, unlike other strongest owls, they have small-sized talons that why they mainly feed on small mammals and birds.
Also, their overall weight is significantly less. It is also considered that they are not as strong as even Powerful Owls. Great Grey Owls predominantly rely only on small prey; that’s why we have ranked it at 7th in the list despite having a large wing span and body size. They feed on ducks, hares, moles, etc., and their only known predator is the Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo), which is mentioned above in the list.
Scientific name: Strix nebulosa
Wingspan: large-sized owl, 152 cm (5 feet)
Weight: up to 1,290 g (2.84 lb)
Distribution: Alaska across Canada, northern Minnesota, Northern Europe, and Asia
Diet: small mammals, frogs, rodents, small birds
7) Powerful Owl
Powerful Owls are the largest and strongest owls in Australia. They are the apex predators that mostly feed on small to medium-sized animals like kangaroos, koalas, bandicoots, and other Marsupials.
They are large-sized owls with a wingspan of up to 4.4 feet and an average weight of 3 lb. These owls have very strong talons, and the size and power of its talon cause instantaneous demise even for large prey when clutched perfectly.
The initial contact that owls make with their prey is called the killing grip. It is the most powerful clutch to instantly catch the prey. Sometimes, powerful owls show strong aggression towards humans during nesting and can injure anyone with their strong strikes. Unlike other owls, powerful male owls are larger and stronger than females.
Scientific name: Ninox strenua
Wingspan: medium-sized owl (112 to 135 cm, 4.4 feet)
Weight: 1,450 g (3.2 lb)
Distribution: south-eastern and eastern Australia
Diet: greater glider, possums, koala, ground-dwelling mammals, and other birds
6) Brown fish owl
The first member of the fish owl species on this list is the Brown fish owl. They are very strong owls and can weigh up to 5.5 lb. Brown fish owls have strong and curved talons with sharp cutting edges that allows them to catch fish by only putting their feet into the water. They mainly catch their prey in the first strike.
Also, their talons have a sharp longitudinal keel sitting under the middle claw-like eagle owls that grant them a powerful killing grip by penetrating through the body of their prey. Brown Fish Owls are one of the most powerful and largest owls in the world.
Unlike other owls, the feathers of Brown fish owls are not too soft, and their wing beats make a sound. These owls mainly feed on fish, frogs, and aquatic crustaceans, and they prefer larger freshwater fish that shows their strength.
Scientific name: Strix occidentalis
Wingspan: medium-sized owl (125 to 140 cm, 4.7 feet)
Weight: 1,100 to 2,500 g (2.4 to 5.5 lb)
Distribution: Indian Subcontinent to Southeast Asia
Diet: fish, frogs, crabs, rodents, birds, reptiles, and large beetles
5) Snowy Owl
Snowy Owls are huge owls, considered to be the largest avian predator of the High Arctic and one of the heaviest owls in the world. They have rugged talons that are heavily covered with feathering, making them apex predators.
Snowy Owls have the size and weight advantage in all aspects against the Great Horned owls; however, they are not as strong and powerful predators as them.
They mainly feed on water birds and small rodents. The reason behind ranking snowy owls in the fifth position because they are not better predators like other eagle owls.
Scientific name: Bubo scandiacus
Wingspan: large-sized owl, 165.6 cm (5.5 feet)
Weight: up to 2,950 g (6.5lb)
Distribution: Arctic regions in North America and Eurasia
Diet: lemmings, voles, and other small rodents
4) Verreaux’s Eagle Owl
Verreaux’s Eagle Owls, also known as the Giant Eagle Owls, are one of the strongest owls in the world. These owls are the members of true owls found in sub-Saharan Africa, measuring up to 66 cm in total length.
They have very large and powerful talons making them a highly opportunistic predator, and are strong enough to penetrate through African hedgehogs.
Verreaux’s Eagle owls primarily feed on large prey like young monkeys, piglets, hedgehogs, etc. They are very powerful owls but not as strong as the Eurasian eagle-owl.
Unlike Long Eared Owl, they are territorial and can fight anyone to defend their territory. There was an incident between an immature crowned eagle and Verreaux’s eagle-owl where the eagle-owl would do well to avoid the exceptionally powerful eagle that makes them placed at the fourth position on the list.
Scientific name: Bubo lacteus
Wingspan: large-sized owl, 164 cm (5.5 feet)
Weight: 2,625 g (5.7 lb)
Diet: Mammals include hedgehogs, young monkeys, warthog piglets, other reptiles, and amphibians
3) Blakiston’s Fish Owl
Blakiston’s Fish owls are the largest living species of owl in the world. Not only are they the biggest, but they are one of the strongest owls in their species. Their body can weigh up to 10 lb with a total body length of 72 cm.
They have very large and powerful talons similar in shape to the Eurasian eagle owls. Also, their power of the strike is the same as the Great Horned owl but with a larger size. They primarily depend on fish like catfish, crayfish, and salmon for their diet.
Both Blakiston Fish Owls and Eurasian Eagle Owls have the same strength and are powerful enough to injure a medium-sized mammal. That’s why we have ranked it at third position in the list of “Top 10+ Strongest Owls in the world.“
Scientific name: Bubo blakistoni
Wingspan: largest-sized owl, 180 cm (6.5 feet)
Weight: 2,950 to 4,600 kg (6.5 to 10.1 lb)
Distribution: China, Japan, and the Russian Far East
Diet: frogs, crabs, and various fish like catfish, trout, and salmon
2) Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owls, also known as tiger owls, are the best avian predators in the world. They primarily feed on ducks, hawks, and rodents. Great Horned Owls can lift up to four times their body weight means a well-grown owl can lift up to 20 lb. It clearly shows how powerful these owls are. That’s why we have placed Great Horned Owl in the second position.
In addition, they can also injure a human and sometimes strikes dogs. Based on overall body size, they are smaller than Eurasian Eagle Owl and Blakiston’s Fish Owl; but in terms of clutching force, they are considered to be equal.
Great horned owls can apply up to 500 pounds per square inch of crushing power in their talons, which is even greater than the capability of exerting by the human hand. Not only this, but their gripping power is also equal to the golden eagle.
Scientific name: Bubo virginianus
Wingspan: large-sized owl, up to 152 cm (5 feet)
Weight: up to 2500 g (5.5 lb)
Distribution: subarctic of North America
Diet: geese, ducks, hawks, smaller owls, rodents, and small amphibians
1) Eurasian Eagle Owl
Eurasian Eagle Owls are the strongest owl in the world, with an average body length of 75 cm (30 in). They are far larger and overdeveloped than a long-eared owl, with more powerful feet and talons. They have the largest and the strongest talons among all owl species. Moreover, Eurasian Eagle Owls can lift up to the same as their body weight.
The talons of Eagle Owls are large enough to penetrate through the prey’s internal organs. Eurasian Eagle Owls exert a crushing force of around 700 pounds per square inch, slightly less than a wolf’s bite and far greater than Great Horned Owls. However, Great Horned owls can lift heavier prey than Eagle owls.
Scientific name: Bubo bubo
Wingspan: largest-sized owl, up to 200 cm (6.5 feet)
Weight: 1.75 to 4.6 kg (3.9 to 10.1 lb)
Distribution: Europe, Asia, and parts of northern Africa
Diet: voles, rats, rabbits, and other small mammals
And with the most powerful and dangerous owl in the world, i.e., the Eurasian Eagle Owl, we conclude our article on “Top 10+ Strongest Owls in the world.” We hope you like it. We will be back with another post. Till then, stay tuned with us and read the articles below.
Monty is a founder of How It See. Being a life science student in a reputed university, he always wonders about an eclectic correlation between science and nature. After engaging in various college projects, Monty determined to share all his knowledge with you as a writer. In the meantime, he loves to research and study about the various types of colorful animals.