I Want a Pet Owl

Darkwind

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2009
Messages
25,869
Reaction score
6,019
Points
290
You ever heard a screech owl? Sounds like a cat in the midst of a BIG fight. Amazing how a bird the size of your fist can make you rise up two feet off the mattress in the middle of the night, when that shrieking starts.
I thought they just asked a lot of questions (who?)
Teach one to fly backward and he then just says, "What?"
 

Luddly Neddite

Diamond Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Messages
63,806
Reaction score
9,863
Points
2,040
I do education programs and my own bird is a great horned owl. I can't tell you the number of times I've had someone say they want one too. Believe me, you really don't.

First, you must hold a federal license which isn't easy to get. There are certainly people who are willing to break the law to have a protected bird but it is a federal crime and one that's taken very seriously. Almost all birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and in some cases, the Lacey Act.

Then there are your own state's laws. Get the book from your state conservation agency.

Even if you're licensed, its really not easy to keep an owl (or hawk, falcon) healthy. They have a very specialized diet as well as housing needs. You can raise your own mice but that's one huge gawd-awful mess. If you buy mice, consider you'll need between 6 and 12. Every single day. My source costs $.75 each. Do the math.

They have certain cage requirements. The materials, substrate, size and so on. You could put a roof on your house using nothing but bird poop so buy the best power washer on the market. You'll need other special equipment.

Don't skimp on your raptor gloves. You wanna see my scars? Seriously. My hands are trashed. I've had several surgeries and I will always have problems.

You must work with the bird every single day. They're wild. They won't "love" you or sit on your lap while you read. You must fit yourself to them, not the other way around.

You'll need to find a vet who is ready and able to take on a patient as difficult as an owl.

There's a lot more to this but none of it means you cannot work with raptors, songbirds, mammals and reptiles. I'm licensed for all and I am grateful for the volunteers who work tirelessly for the animals. You can volunteer for a licensed rehabber and most do not require more hours than are convenient for you. You find one near you by calling your conservation agency, animal control or humane society. You can also hunt on line.

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Information Directory
National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association
https://wildliferehabber.com/wildlife-agency-listing
 

Luddly Neddite

Diamond Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Messages
63,806
Reaction score
9,863
Points
2,040
After all I said about how difficult it is, omg, they are also a joy and utterly engaging - This is a group of successful releases.

Another thing - You must be ready to do some really disgusting things. Like, skinning and gut mice and rats, picking up roadkill, fuun stuff like that.

If you look at these photos, there's a story --- "yours is better than mine".


GHO3owlets.jpg
GHO3owlets2.jpg
GHO3owlets3.jpg
GHO3owlets4.jpg
 

Luddly Neddite

Diamond Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Messages
63,806
Reaction score
9,863
Points
2,040
More disgusting - This red tailed hawk had a head injury and had literally forgotten how to eat. This always amazes me but I'ce seen it so often - that if the animal is support nutritionally while the swelling of their brain abates, they can be saved. With this female, I had to skin mice and put them in a blender so I could tube feed.

This bird was heartbreaking. You can see her wildness and her terror. In her head, the only reason to be caught and held is to be killed and eaten. I've heard people say they know we're trying to help them to which I say hooey.

It gave me such huge satisfaction to release her.

Picture 143.jpg
Picture 145.jpg
Picture 146.jpg
Picture 147.jpg
Picture 148.jpg



Picture 144.jpg
 

Luddly Neddite

Diamond Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Messages
63,806
Reaction score
9,863
Points
2,040
Magnificent creature. It is the cat of the bird world


I do love this video. My GHO will sometimes lean against me and fall asleep. I was doing an all day, career day education program in a gym and though owls are much lighter than they look, she got heavy so I put her in a big cage I had brought.

She went nuts. Screaming her head off, hanging on the side of the cage, flapping her wings and banging around. I was so afraid she would hurt herself and got her out as quickly as I could. then it hit me - she had never ever been in a cage before. She has a huge flight cage and I transport her in a big pet taxi but never a cage.

I think she was frightened and angry. She was on my hand the rest of the day.

Great horned owls are known as the 'tiger of the sky' and are fearless. One of the few birds that will take skunks and I've rehabbed one that had been sprayed. What a miserable thing that was but he was eventually released.

I truly hope that people looking at this will look into volunteering with a rehabber. Its an incredible opportunity to work with wild animals more closely than any other "job" without a PhD and its how new rehabbers learn and get licensed.

A few other patients --

You can see the hummingbird's crop is stuffed full.

The ravens were a real handful. I had to keep them separate because the slightest noise and they'd be screaming for their next meal. When they were older, I put them in a flight cage. When I would go in to feed them, they would hang off of me, try to steal my glasses and just in general be ornery and charming.

The barn owl was getting exercise and physical therapy. Barn owls have a scream that will break wine glasses.

The last one is a vulture. Very cool birds and they serve a really important purpose in nature.

And I really really love gho's.

Copy (2) of Pictures 290.jpg
Copy (2) of Pictures 383.jpg
Picture 359.jpg
Picture 369.jpg
Picture 372 - Copy.jpg
 

Attachments

Last edited:

TNHarley

Diamond Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2012
Messages
67,105
Reaction score
11,935
Points
2,030
Owls are assholes. But they are cool to look at.
 

Luddly Neddite

Diamond Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Messages
63,806
Reaction score
9,863
Points
2,040
Owls are assholes. But they are cool to look at.

They save you money at the grocery store. Seriously. Its sad that so many people don't understand nature but raptors eat the mice that foul our grain stores. Whether you're a meat eater or vegetarian, we all eat food that depends on grain. Stupid people shoot them - a federal crime, poison them - a federal crime and never have any clue what the animal is all about.
 

koshergrl

Diamond Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
79,997
Reaction score
13,013
Points
2,190

koshergrl

Diamond Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
79,997
Reaction score
13,013
Points
2,190
I want one of these:

Sad he's dying.
But yeah I'd love to have one. The Boxers would shit themselves!!!
Keeping wolves as pets is one of the most horrible things that people do to canines.

Breeding them with dogs is another of the most horrible things.

They are miserable in capitvity..they are dangerous and they are destructive.
 

New Topics

Most reactions - Past 7 days

Forum List

Top