Owls

Discussion in 'Pets Corner' started by caroleb, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. caroleb

    caroleb Registered Users

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    We are currently researching keeping an owl. My partner has a new business as a Freelance Forest School teacher which he named "Forest Owl" the "Owl" bit relating to "outdoor and woodland learning" and because it seemed like a good name! Loads of people have been asking if can bring an owl on the school visits and it looks like we're going to go for a Barn Owl! We have a barn already... ;D the plan is to get a baby one and imprint it on us, maybe even set up a barn cam...

    he is doing a training course in a couple of weeks on how to look after an owl so we're doing it all properly but if anyone has any experience or advice we'd love to hear it

    Carole
     
  2. Naya

    Naya Registered Users

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    Re: Owls

    I've got no experience, but wow, sounds like a fab idea :)
     
  3. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Owls

    Very cool !

    The hotel down the road has an aviary and my Dad went and took some photos of the owls recently - beautiful birds!
     
  4. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Registered Users

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    Re: Owls

    That's great Carole!
    I know nothing about owls, but we have an outdoor nursery on our doorstep. The kids have great fun in the woods, loads of free play and learning about nature. They love it.
    It's this one here if you are interested.
    Very best of luck!
     
  5. MadMudMob

    MadMudMob Registered Users

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    Re: Owls

    One of our members on the parrot forum keeps owls ..... fascinating birds!
     
  6. Oberon

    Oberon Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Re: Owls

    Wow!

    The only thing I know about owls is that the reason their eyes face the front, unlike other birds, is because that is the only position in the skull that will fit two such enormous eyeballs. The eyes are large to capture as much light as possible so they can see in low light (as we all know). But the front facing thing is not about binocular vision or depth perception - just basic packaging :)

    I highly recommend the book 'Bird Sense' by Tim Birkhead if your husband wants to learn more about how birds experience the world. Might have some useful info for his talks and there is stuff in there about owls too.
     
  7. lynnelogan

    lynnelogan Registered Users

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    Re: Owls

    wow sounds great :)
     
  8. Lisa

    Lisa Registered Users

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    Re: Owls

    Can't wait to see pics!! Owls are amazing, I just love them!
     
  9. Karen

    Karen Registered Users

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    Re: Owls

    I took a falconry course a few years ago Carole, and looked into keeping a hawk, but eventually decided against it as it is such a huge commitment, both as regards training and daily upkeep. The birds need to be flown daily, and because they imprint on their human, it is difficult to leave them in anyone else's care. Also of course you need to feed them day-old chicks and so on. Wonderful and fascinating creatures, I love raptors.
     
  10. mandyb

    mandyb Registered Users

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    Re: Owls

    We have had a pair of breeding Barn Owls for years, beautiful birds! Kept as a breeding pair in a huge aviary they're easy to look after, the trouble starts when you get into hand rearing and training to free fly. It takes total commitment, is extremely time consuming and leaves no room for mistakes. As an example we had a beautiful young owl we'd bought up from a chick, hubby had spent months training it to the glove, first on a long creance, then flying free. One day she'd flown over to the gate but just as hubby whistled her in a cat jumped out of the hedge behind, the owl took off and that was the last we saw of her. Had a phone call a couple weeks later to say her body had been found nearly 60 miles away!
    It's a wonderful hobby, we had a Harris hawk too until very recently that was flown/hunted regularly, but as I've said you need to be totally committed, have the right equipment and never ever try to cut corners.
     
  11. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Registered Users

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    Re: Owls

    Wow!
    How amazing 8)
     
  12. Oberon

    Oberon Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Re: Owls

    So sad that you lost your young owl :(
     
  13. Penny+Me

    Penny+Me Registered Users

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    Re: Owls

    Wow! I love owls. I did a diploma in animal management when I was at college and we had a barn owl, she was so beautiful and soft! Really tame as well, I loved when it was turn to feed her and muck out her aviary.
     
  14. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

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    Re: Owls

    hmmm... are there pros and cons of keeping birds in cages? I don't want to be a spoil sport - I really know nothing about this, it's a genuine question. It just seems odd to me, keeping a native bird in a cage. Are there wild owls, and domestic owls?
     
  15. TeamGSP

    TeamGSP Registered Users

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    Re: Owls

    [quote author=JulieT link=topic=5564.msg70809#msg70809 date=1398378961]
    hmmm... are there pros and cons of keeping birds in cages? I don't want to be a spoil sport - I really know nothing about this, it's a genuine question. It just seems odd to me, keeping a native bird in a cage. Are there wild owls, and domestic owls?
    [/quote]

    From my knowledge and from falconer friends it's not as cruel as it may initially seem. One of the main reasons is that wild birds don't actually do a great deal of flying. They fly only to feed and once "fed up" (that's where the saying originates) they find a perch and until hungry again they do not fly.

    So if the owner flies them regularly then popping them back in a ménage or aviary then it's all fine. Sometimes the aviaries look incredibly small but that reduces injuries.

    It's much harder to own a native wild bird such as a barn owl or peregrine as opposed to a Harris hawk or red tail hawk. Just in case you may have robbed a nest

    Some areas of America and other countries it's still totally legal to trap and imprint wild falcons
     
  16. mandyb

    mandyb Registered Users

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    Re: Owls

    Yes native captive bred birds need to be close rung at a few days old and there's lots of official paperwork to sort out.
     
  17. caroleb

    caroleb Registered Users

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    Re: Owls

    Gosh so many replies - thanks everyone.

    To keep an owl you have to have a licence from DEFRA and it must be bred in captivity - if you release them it's a huge fine or 6 months in prison! It's illegal to take one from the wild. We're discovering that barn owls are quite easy to get from breeders, but tawny owls and others are harder. We already have barn and plan to build the flight room on the side and section off a bit of the barn for sleeping quarters. Ian has his handling/ownership course on 12/13 may so I'll keep you posted! I'll also see if I can upload some pics from the owl experience I bought him...
     
  18. caroleb

    caroleb Registered Users

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    Re: Owls

    Update...

    We had our name on an egg and have just heard that it has hatched. Ian is going to see his new baby on Tuesday - a little barn owl.

    it will come here is about 2 weeks for him to hand raise it and joy of joys it will live in the house for a while as it's so tiny which means upstairs so there's no risk of becoming a lab snack!

    travelling box is all ready as it will go to work with Ian too - it has to go everywhere with him so it imprints on him as the food provider - will post pictures when I get them
     
  19. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Registered Users

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    Re: Owls

    How exciting!
    Good luck to you all - will look forward to the pictures and updates :)
     
  20. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Re: Owls

    That's very cool and what a fascinating insight this thread has been :)
     

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