How Long Are Owls Legs (And Why)?

How Long Are Owls Legs (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 30 cm

The length of the legs of the owl depends on the type of owl. There are more than 150 different types of owls. The legs of the owls get hidden under the feathers. Not all species of owls will have exposed long legs.

Everyone can find a very less number of owls whose legs would be visible clearly. The Burrowing Owl is one of the species whose legs can be seen entirely. According to many experts, the length of an owl’s leg would be half of the length of the whole body.

Therefore, predicting the exact length of the owl’s leg is quite difficult. Everyone can take an average of the length of the owl’s leg. The maximum length of any type of owl can be around 30 cm.

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How Long Are Owls Legs?

Owls Legs Length
Minimum length25 cm
Maximum length30 cm

The length of owl legs depends on the size, shape, and type of owl. The legs of owls are quite strong as they serve different purposes. The role of the legs of the owl is notable in carrying the prey. The owl uses talons to attack and kill the prey.

They need long and strong legs to carry the prey. The legs of owls also help them in stretching out as this will help them to reach the prey easily. The Burrowing owls are found underground as they live there. The burrowing owls can hunt both on the ground and air.

Burrowing owls are good at flying, but they are better on the ground. The Eagle Owl has the longest leg around 30 cm. The reason is that Eagle Owl is the tallest owl in the world. Therefore, the length of their legs would be half of their body.

The owl legs are not called or tagged with any scientific names and are simply called legs. The patella of the owls is mainly hidden under the feather. The owls with long legs are better at hunting than the owls with short legs.

The owls with long and powerful legs seem to be more active as they can handle the bodyweight easily. The owls are capable of walking, but they don’t prefer walking a lot. Many people think that owls can’t run as they have different legs structure.

The owls can run, but they don’t prefer walking or running over perching up on tree branches.

Why Owls Have Legs So Long?

The legs of owls are capable of walking backward. The legs of the owls are strong as they play a vital role in hunting prey. The legs of owls are extremely thin. This is another reason that owl legs look very long. The owls attack by using all the strength they have in their feet and legs.

Therefore the feet of owls are equally strong as the legs. The height of the Elf Owl is extremely short, and the leg would be short as well. The height of the Elf Owl is around 6 inches long, and the leg would be around 3 inches long.

The legs of owls will not bend and therefore, the owls can’t sit in a crisscross manner. There are some little owls with a height of around 23 centimeters and their legs would be very small. The owls with small legs struggle while hunting as they can’t stretch their legs.

Some people may think that the legs of the owls are crossed, but it’s not the truth. The feather of the owls not only hide the length of the legs but shows them to be crossed.


Getting sight of owls running is very rare as they are not that much seen on the ground. The owls are not that active in the day as they don’t like sunlight. The owls are very active during the night. The legs of an average size owl would be between 20 to 30 centimeters.

The legs of the owls are very fascinating but are not visible completely.


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