Both snakes and owls are carnivorous, eating only meat and no vegetation. They also prey on many of the same types of animals. Both snakes and owls usually swallow their food whole and expel whatever parts they cannot digest.

Owls feed mainly on rodents, such as rats, mice, rabbits and hares. They also eat insects. Some are able to catch fish, and larger species have been known to hunt weasels, foxes and even young deer. Many species of snakes also catch rodents as their primary food, and also supplement their diets with insects. Larger snakes are able to capture and ingest large animals, including not only weasels, foxes and deer, but also other snakes, antelopes, pigs, bears, crocodiles, cows and occasionally humans.

Snakes swallow their prey whole, either dead or while it is still alive, because they do not have the ability to tear it apart. Their jaws are extremely flexible, so they can swallow prey much larger in diameter than themselves. Snakes have digestive systems that are so efficient that they absorb everything except fur, scales, feathers and claws, which they excrete. Owls swallow whole any prey that is not too big. Otherwise, they tear it apart with their beaks and then eat it. Whatever is indigestible, such as fur, scales, feathers and bones, they regurgitate as small compact pellets.