What Do Baby Owls Look Like? Colors, Behavior and Temperament

What Do Baby Owls Look Like?

Found in every region of the world, Owls are known for its visibly round eyes, silent flying, and loud “hoo-hoo” noises. A baby owl is a recently hatched bird that is yet to develop into a fully-matured adult. Baby owls rely heavily on their parents during the very early stages and are forced to quickly adapt to its surrounding environment when left to fend for itself shortly afterward.

A baby owl looks like a miniature version of its adult-self, minus the feathers and long beak. Nevertheless, they’re still adorable. They’re typically born with no feathers, and a disproportionate beak (that seems too broad for their head.) As they grow, their eyes become much larger, and their white feathers change to browny-yellow on the wing-portion of their body.

Once an owlet has surpassed the “featherless stage,” these tiny birds quickly develop into the distinct species we humans know them for today. With their small bodies, wide-eyes, and silly traits in mind- baby owls certainly are cute!

Baby Owls

Whether they’re meant to be or not, baby owls are quite the laugh, mainly when they’re sleeping. If you haven’t already seen the viral photos circulating the internet, baby owls sleep face down. This makes them appear even cuter than what they already are, especially given the unknown reasons behind such a trait.

Find below some of the reasons people believe baby owls sleep face down:

  • They can not handle their own body weight
  • Their heads are too heavy for their bodies
  • They’re trying to copy humans
  • They prefer the comfortability of the ground

No matter the real-reason, you’d be lying if you didn’t think that baby owls look even cuter when they’re doing their silly traits.

A baby owls behavior and temperament is another noteworthy observation to discuss, especially for future prospective owl owners. Baby owls are curious, reliant, and adventurous by nature.

They’ll quickly develop a bond to you (otherwise their mother in the wild), particularly during their very early life stages. Baby owls are known to make various noises, all of which are a natural part of their development.

Each noise you may hear from a baby owl is dependant on a few factors, such as:

  • The current situation
  • It’s environment
  • The owls’ mood or emotional state
  • External factors

Regardless, it’s a good idea to keep this fact in mind as you may be surprised to know just how loud baby owls can be, especially when they’re feeling frightened, curious, or aggressive.

Overall; Baby owls are friendly, adorable, and loving little bird species that should be cherished by their owners for the beauty they possess and will grow up to become.

Baby Owl Colors

Depending on the age of your baby owl, will influence what color they’ll currently be. For brand new hatchlings, they’re typically pink with white patches throughout their body. This is also known as being “featherless.”

Over time, they’ll turn into a white color- which is the reason for their sparse white feathers. As they grow, so do their feathers.

Their feathers can develop into a creamy-white/beige color with various brown colorations shown amongst their wings. Depending on the specific owl species, their brown wings might be a silver-grey color instead.

Some baby owls can still be a greyish color but have brown-red faces. They might also have a long white-patch that comes down their throat; however, it can vary.

Overall, you can tell a baby owl through their color- as they’re commonly found to be a creamy-white color with overly large beaks.

How Big is a Baby Owl?

A baby owl typically is only as big as a baby chicken- averaging no taller than 2 inches or 5 cm. However, you should be mindful that each species will slightly vary in size.

Baby Owl Behavior and Temperament

When baby owls aren’t worried about their predators- they’re low-pressure, undemanding birds that are incredibly amicable. If grown in the wild, baby owls quickly become naturally curious creatures. They stay within close vicinity of their mother and keep a close eye on surrounding threats.

A baby owl that lives in captivity will slowly form a close connection with their handler. Through one-on-one time together (min 40 mins – 2 hours is ideal) and regular interaction, baby owls grow to be passive and trusting.

Baby owls DO NOT like loud noises; Vacuum cleaners, loud rain, thunder, or even nearby lawnmowers can make them feel frightened and anxious.

A common behavioral trait you’ll notice if your baby owl is scared (but isn’t defensive), is they physically try to make themselves as “thin” as possible. They squeeze their wings against each side of their body, with the intention to no longer appear wide or “as obvious” as they previously looked. Sometimes, they’ll even close their eyes and bring behind their beak.

Wild baby owls are similar but instead swing side to side, which indicates “defense or territorial” mode. If your captive baby owl swings side to side, be aware they’re in the process of deciding whether going into defense-mode or not.

Overall, a baby owls behavior, and temperament is laid-back and adventurous. They seize the opportunity to explore while remaining mindful of their surroundings and the environment they find themselves in.

How Long Does it Take For a Baby Owl to Grow?

How Long Does it Take For a Baby Owl to Grow

It takes approximately one year for a baby owl to become an adult. In between that time, many growth processes occur, such as developing sight, learning how to fly, and finally being left to fend for themselves.

How Long Does it Take For Baby Owls to Fly?

Depending on the species of owl, it can take anywhere between 4 – 10 weeks after hatching for baby owls to begin learning how to fly. Wild baby owls are forced to grow up fast, leaving them no choice but to undergo the process of flying- especially once they’re left to fend for themselves shortly after hatching.

Do Baby Owls Sleep at Night?

Yes, baby owls (while they’re still young) sleep not only during the day but also in the night. The reason being is when baby owls sleep they only receive 2 – 3 hours of rest. They do not sleep for long-periods like other bird species, at least until they reach adulthood.

Do Baby Owls Sleep Face Down?

If you haven’t already seen those viral photos of baby owls sleeping face down, you’re missing out. Did you know that baby owls sleep face down? – And the reasons why which has been made up by multiple viewers sure does make the situation even cuter!

The reason why baby owls sleep face down is still unsure; What we do know, however, is baby owls show high-levels of REM activity during sleep (just like humans.) This means that it can cause them to sleep in funny or odd-looking positions.

A common reason circulating the internet behind why baby owls sleep face down is that their heads are too heavy, causing them to lie flat on their face. Although we’re unsure about the truth behind such a claim, we have to admit that it certainly makes baby owls seem even cuter!

Why Do Baby Owls Hiss?

If you notice your baby owl making various hissing noises, don’t be alarmed- this is a natural part of their growth process. Hissing is a verbal cue made by owls to indicate a possible threat, danger, or dominance of their territory.

As a baby owl transitions into adulthood, hissing is one of the skills they develop if threatened by a predator. Wild baby owls are naturally forced to fend for themselves at such a young age. Therefore hissing becomes one of the many indicators they use to warn off potential danger.

What Noise Do Baby Owls Make?

Baby owls make a range of noises, eventually becoming quieter and reserved once they reach adulthood. But as a baby owl, these noises are all a part of their natural development, with each noise representing a specific emotion or indication of how the owl feels.

Find below a list of different noises baby owls make:

  • Low-toned coos
  • Rapid coos
  • Hissing
  • Whistles
  • Barking

Each noise will represent a different emotion or feeling, with some being happier and others indicating fear, frustration, or aggression. Seen in adult owls during the mating season, mating calls become a common noise most owners will hear throughout the day.

What Do Baby Owls Sound Like?

The sounds which a baby owl makes entirely depends on the situation, emotional well-being, and surrounding factors. Each noise represents distinct feelings and emotions which the baby owl is experiencing. Meaning some sounds may be louder, firm, or chirper than others.


A typical sound that a baby owl will make is the familiar “hoo-hoo” noise or also known as coos. This noise is an instinctual call found in every species of owl relating to territory and mating.

Hissing and Screeching

If your baby owl becomes frightened, anxious, and defensive- they’ll make a high-pitched screeching and hissing noise as an act of protection.

Barking and Chirping

A barking or chirping noise made by a baby owl is a sound used for the purpose of warning-off potential predators that may be lurking at night.


Lastly, shrieking becomes apparent in wild baby owls when they’re seeking attention or awareness- specifically with their mother or father.

How Much Does a Baby Owl Cost?

Baby owls aren’t the cheapest bird species to purchase and for a good reason too. The average cost for a single baby owl varies between $1200 – $3500 USD. Depending on the specific species you buy, its age and overall health will significantly impact the total price you pay.

Other factors that may influence the cost of a baby owl are:

  • Buying the correct food
  • Housing (not cages, but large areas)
  • Medical: VETS, health-checks
  • Licensing/certificates
  • Outdoor perches
  • Protection wear: gloves, jesses etc

Owning an owl is extremely difficult, and although the initial price to purchase one can be affordable for some- it’s important to consider whether you can maintain their requirements and needs.

What Can You Feed a Baby Owl?

If you’re becoming a proud owl owner and curious to know what you can feed your baby owl, find below some suggestions for some of the foods you may choose to provide.

Owls are carnivores, which means you must keep your baby owl on a strict diet, ensuring to follow suit with their needs. Baby owls can be fed anything with meat on it. However, as an example here are some frozen animals you may give them:

  1. Frogs
  2. Crayfish
  3. Pocket gophers
  4. Rats
  5. Rabbits
  6. Mice
  7. Chicks
  8. Worms

It’s essential to keep in mind that whatever food you do give to your baby owl, it’ll need to be small in proportion and nothing more substantial than their own body size.

Remember to be careful about how old the meat you give them is, with some animals should be no more than two days old and others being ok to eat after five days old.

How Often Do You Feed Baby Owls?

Baby owls should be fed twice a day in small portions. Any of the foods listed above can be provided to your owl, ideally once in the morning and again in the evening. So long as the portion size is small (no more than two during one serving,) then your baby owl will be ok.

As their bodies develop and they begin to grow more extensive, you can increase the portion size from no more than two to three- and feed twice during the evening (if required.)

Do Baby Owls Drink Water?

Baby owls do not drink water, as they receive enough moisture from the foods they eat. For this reason, you must feed your baby owl the proper meals, to begin with. Don’t worry about ditching the water bowl, however, as baby owls should still have a bowl of water in their cage for the purpose of bathing and one-off entertainment.

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