Why Do Owls Live In Trees? (Things You Need To Know)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Trees provide nesting sites and shelter, while grassy vegetation provide prey habitat.

Most owls prefer to spend the day hiding in dense cover and only come out at night.

This type of cover is available all year round because of evergreen trees.

Owls rely on old-growth forests along streams for both breeding and the health of their favourite prey: salmon.

Where do owls live in trees?

Why Do Owls Live In Trees

Some owls, such as Great Horned Owls, use hawks, crows, magpies, and other birds to build unoccupied nests in trees or on cliffs.

Many owls just build their nests in tree cavities or hollows. Woodpeckers are often responsible for the formation of these tree cavities, which occur naturally.

What kind of habitat do owls live in?

When it comes to their habitat, owls are well-known for their adaptability.

1. Wooded Areas

They may live in a variety of environments, some of which may surprise you. Forested areas are the most prevalent habitat for owls.

They have their area, which they can use to hide from predators throughout the day.

Because of the various living organisms in the forest, they have access to a variety of food sources.

2. Rainforest

Certain owl species can survive in the rainforest. They cope admirably with the humidity and rain.

They can discover wonderful areas to live in that are safe from the elements. The trade-off is that they appear to have more predators from whom they must hide or defend themselves.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on why owls hunt at night

3. Grasslands

However, you might be surprised to learn that some owls thrive in grasslands and open prairies. In these settings, they can find a variety of food sources.

They don’t seem to mind the heat because they sleep and spend the day in cool shaded locations.

Elf Owls can live in the desert and can be found among the cactus.

Some people believe that owls can only be found in trees. They, on the other hand, take advantage of any opportunity to find shelter and lay a claim on an environment out there.

They can reside in tree trunks and barn rafters, for example. Others hide in bushes and shrubbery where you wouldn’t expect to find them.

Most people believe that these birds must be flying high above the land. The fact that they perch very high to find their prey contributes to this misperception.

However, instead of hunting from their nesting location, they move away from it to find their prey.

For a nesting place, owls will use any hollowed-out wood or aperture in a tree. They also take over nests that have been abandoned by other birds.

They never build their nests from the ground up.

Many owl species face extinction in the future because they may lose too much of their habitat to survive.

Even though most owls have proven to be extremely versatile, there is a limit.

Even though most owls have proven to be quite adaptable, there is a limit to what they can accomplish.

They are mainly solitary and possessive animals. As a result, there is just not enough room for everyone.

The fact that they require sufficient food for survival is also a concern. The shortage of food caused by humans disturbing the environment can lead to death in any owl habitat.

When their basic needs aren’t addressed, most owl species won’t reproduce at high rates.

As a result, a variety of conservation activities for owls’ native habitats have been implemented.

Also check out this article I wrote on why owls sleep during the day

Do owls sleep in trees during the day?

Among 250 species of owls, just a few of them sleep at night and are active during the day, but the majority are nocturnal.

During the day, owls sleep away from disturbances, typically in trees and hollow trees, but also in abandoned sites and rock ledges.

Owls sleep in tree holes, disused houses, rock ledges, fissures, but mostly on tree branches, usually facing forward but occasionally bending their heads backwards.

And owls stay away from places where they can build their nests or sleep. There are a lot of people working, there is noise, there are predators, and there are other animals.

Owls also have a unique sleeping technique. While owls’ heads are quite heavy, and infant owls are unable to hold them, they sleep face aside (sometimes face down) on their belly and entirely on their front of the body, much like humans who are exhausted.

Because owls are nocturnal and require sleep to conserve and sustain energy, they spend the majority of their time sleeping during the day.

Owls, like all birds, require a 12-hour night’s sleep for their bodies to function properly. Majorly owls sleep during the day mainly because they are active at night.

What kind of trees do owls live in?

Cottonwood, juniper, beech, pine, and other trees are common owl nesting sites.

They usually take over a nest built by another species, although they have also been seen to use cavities in live trees, dead snags, abandoned buildings, cliff ledges, and human-made platforms.

Where do owls sleep?

Owls sleep primarily on tree branches, although they also sleep in hollow trees, chimneys, abandoned houses, fractures, and other similar locations.

However, owls hardly ever sleep in the nest; they do, however, sleep around or near the nest throughout the mating season.

Owls sleep in niches, abandoned structures, hollow trees, or high branches in their natural habitat.

They are rarely spotted resting in regions frequented by humans during the day because they are nocturnal and considered to be light sleepers.

Owls sleep with their bodies slightly slouched and facing forward when perched.

Surprisingly, they can sleep with their heads rotated up to 270 degrees without cutting off their brain’s blood flow.

When they sleep, the bottoms of three eyelids rise; when they are awake, the others are utilized for blinking and cleansing the eyes.

Where do owls live during the day

During the day, owls are nearly never seen outside. Because they are covert and silent predators, spotting one is unusual in any situation.

These enigmatic beings are frequently thought to know more than they reveal. As they watch over the forest at night, owls are often shrouded in mystery and intrigue.

During the day, owls are extremely well camouflaged. They will try to hide from view and may be difficult to see even if you look directly at them.


Owls do not have to live in the treetops; they can also live in lower-lying areas such as bushes, shrubs, and tree trunks. Burrowing owls live in burrows excavated by other animals beneath.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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