Owls use many different ecosystems around the world from dry, hot deserts to the cold, snowy tundra. They interact with these ecosystems in similar ways, even if they look very different. Any animal needs important things from its environment - food, water, and shelter. How do owls accomplish this? Most owls are nocturnal, meaning they hunt at night. They get their food when they eat small animals like insects, reptiles, rodents, and birds. These are the same things many other predators, even other raptors like hawks and falcons eat. Being nocturnal allows owls to hunt when other animals are sleeping, so they don’t have to compete for food. They can survey their hunting grounds by looking and listening while perched high in trees, then swoop down silently to grab their prey. Owl species in open areas like grasslands and tundra may be more diurnal, or awake during the daytime.They often hunt by flying over an area to look for prey or even hovering (like the short-eared owl). Like nutrients, water is also a necessity, but it’s not something owls spend a lot time consuming like we do. They may drink occasionally from water sources, but most of the moisture they take in is from their food.