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With extraordinary hearing and vision, owls are some of the most skilled birds of prey. But have you ever wondered what the strongest owl in the world is?
If you have, you are in the right place.
Today we’ll discuss the world’s top 5 strongest owl species. We’ll also highlight their hunting strategies, physical abilities, and other skills that separate them from the rest.
The Top 5 Strongest Owl Species In The World
There are more than 200 owl species around the globe, ranging in size from only a few inches to up to 30 inches.
Amongst all of them, below are the top five strongest owls:
1. Eurasian Owls
2. Blakiston’s Fish Owls
3. Great Horned Owls
4. Verreaux’s Eagle Owls
5. Snowy Owls
- Scientific Name: Bubo bubo
- Weight: 5 – 8 pounds
- Length: 1.9 – 2.3 feet
- Wingspan: 5 – 6.6 feet
The Eurasian eagle owl is the second-largest and, at the same time, one of the most powerful owls on the planet. Female owls can grow to 2.3 feet with a wingspan of about 6.6 feet, while males are slightly smaller.
This strong avian predator is predominant in Eurasia (all of Europe and Asia), earning it the name.
The upper parts of their body are mottled brownish and black, and they have characteristic ear tufts. The orange eyes give them a striking appearance; however, it indicates that the bird is crepuscular (active at dusk and dawn).
Eurasian eagle owls have the largest and strongest talons among owls. The strength of their talons measures around 750 PSI which is powerful enough to cut through a prey’s internal organs in seconds.
Another of its strengths is its body weight. A Eurasian eagle owl can lift the same as their body weight.
In addition, these raptors’ long wings allow them to fly at speeds of up to 20 mph, which helps them hunt even more effectively.
Eurasian eagle owls can hear sounds ten times fainter than humans, enabling them to locate prey out of their visual range. Their targets include voles, rats, rabbits, woodpeckers, and other birds.
Related: Strongest Tigers
Blakiston’s Fish Owls
- Scientific Name: Bubo blakistoni
- Weight: 6 – 10 pounds
- Length: 2 – 2.4 feet
- Wingspan: 5.8 – 6.3 feet
Blakiston’s fish owls share genetics and osteological traits with Eurasian eagle owls and specific characteristics with the other three fish owls (particularly the brown fish owl).
Blakiston’s fish owl is the largest living species of owl. They can weigh up to 10 pounds (males are typically 25% smaller).
It possesses an impressive wingspan of more than 6 feet with dark brown or greyish-brown colored white spots on the feathers of the upper parts and pale greyish-white underparts. The facial disc is grayish and lacks a characteristic rim, while their eyes are yellow.
Named after the English naturalist Thomas Blakiston, Blakiston’s fish owl is native to Japan, Korea, and parts of Russia eastward through northern China and Mongolia. Its habitat includes forests or wooded coastlines.
These strong owls are understudied due to their habitat, but we know their talons are super powerful, similar to those of Eurasian eagle owls. We also know that they attack with the same force as a great-horned owl.
When hunting, the Blakiston’s fish owl wades through river shallows and perches on the bank or logs to watch for movement in the water.
When raising their young, Blakiston’s fish owls may hunt both throughout the day and night, but they’re more active at night all year round.
Interestingly, these owls are often seen walking on the ground, which is pretty unusual for owls.
Blakiston’s fish owls are primarily piscivores (fish-eaters). Their diet includes pike, catfish, trout, and salmon. However, during winter, they also hunt different mammals.
Great Horned Owls
- Scientific Name: Bubo virginianus
- Weight: 3 – 5.5 pounds
- Length: 1.2 – 2.1 feet
- Wingspan: 3.3 – 4.6 feet
The great horned owl is the largest owl species in North America. Also known as the tiger owl, it grows up to 2.1 feet and weighs 3 to 5.5 pounds.
These strong owls can carry objects four times their weight and possess a lengthy wingspan, measuring approximately 4.6 feet.
Both sexes have brown-grayish feathers, large round heads, big yellow eyes, and long ear tufts that resemble horns. A great horned owl also has a distinctive “hoot” call, often heard at dusk or night.
Great horned owls are powerful and fierce birds of prey and are regarded as some of the deadliest owls in the world.
They primarily attack prey and feed on various mammals, but they are also able to hunt other raptors such as peregrine falcons, ospreys, and other owls. Horned owls usually swoop down on their prey from high perches when hunting.
Their excellent eyesight and hearing help them locate prey (even in low light conditions), while their 700 PSI talon squeeze guarantees a quick kill.
Great horned owls are nocturnal hunters but can also be active at dusk or early morning, especially if young owlets need to be fed.
Read Also: Strongest Sharks
Verreaux’s Eagle Owls
- Scientific Name: Bubo lacteus
- Weight: 3.5 – 4.4 pounds
- Length: 1.9 – 2.1 feet
- Wingspan: 4 – 5.5 feet
Named after Jules Verreaux, a botanist, and ornithologist from France, the Verreaux’s eagle owl measure about 2 feet long and weigh 4.4 pounds, with an average wingspan of about 4.7 feet.
The Verreaux’s eagle owl is the largest owl on the African continent and one of the world’s strongest.
These powerful owls are predominantly gray with white spots on their wings, a paler underside, and dark eyes. Their pink eyelids are a unique feature shared with no other species of owls.
Both sexes are similar in appearance, although females tend to be larger and heavier than males.
These lethal apex predators have long, strong talons that can apply up to 700 pounds of pressure. Their preferred way of hunting is gliding down from a perch. Although, they are also known to hunt on the wing.
Verreaux’s eagle owls are highly opportunistic birds, while most of their diet consists of various mammals and birds.
However, they occasionally wade into shallow waters to catch fish, reptiles, frogs, and other aquatic creatures.
- Scientific Name: Bubo scandiacus
- Weight: 4 – 5 pounds
- Length: 2.1 – 2.4 feet
- Wingspan: 4 – 5 feet
Don’t let their cuteness fool you; snowy owls are fearless and strong owl species found in the Arctic tundra. They are known to dive-bomb humans and even attack large predators such as Arctic wolves.
The snowy owl, also called the Polar owl, great white owl, or ghost owl, grows to 2.4 feet and 4.5 pounds, with an average wingspan of 4.5 feet.
Males are completely white, except for yellow eyes and a few brownish spots. Females, on the other hand, have more extensive flecks of black or brown.
Their thick fur, round bodies, and feathered legs help them stay warm in such harsh conditions.
Snowy owls have exceptional vision and hearing ability that allows them to hunt prey buried under the snow. In addition, they can dive under snow as deep as 8 inches in search of prey.
The snowy owl is often active during the day, especially in the summer, unlike most owls who sleep during the day and hunt at night.
Their diet includes various creatures, including seabirds, ducks, hares, lemmings, and deer mice, among others.
Owls are some of our most skilled and deadliest birds of prey. The most significant adaptations that make them effective hunters and ensure them a position at the top of the food chain in practically every ecosystem they inhabit include powerful talons, superb eyesight and hearing, and near-silent flight.
Eurasian owls, Blakiston’s fish owls, great horned owls, Verreaux’s eagle owls, and snowy owls are the top five strongest owl species in the world, among more than 200 distinct species.
Thank you for reading. If you liked this article, here’s another popular owl topic: Smallest Owls in the World.