Can You Have A Pet Owl

Owls are quite adorable and appear to be pets, but did you know that if you ever try to hold one, they could bite you?

Even though owls are stunning birds, you cannot have one as a pet in your house. One of the numerous reasons why you cannot keep an owl as a pet is the fact that they are wild creatures and birds of prey.

In the world, owls come in more than 200 different species. Some of them, like the barn owl (Tyto alba), have the sweetest heart-shaped features, while others, like the great horned owl, have enormous feathers covering their eyes that resemble eyebrows (Bubo virginianus). So, wanting an owl as a pet is not unusual.

If someone wishes to keep an owl as a pet, there are a number of obstacles to overcome, from tight legal requirements like licensing to caring for and feeding them. It takes a lot of time and effort to complete each step of the procedure. Additionally, owls are accustomed to living in the outdoors and hunting for food.

They are innately disposed to do this. As a result, it will be quite challenging to get them used to life in captivity.

Are Owls Dangerous Pets?

Owls are untamed animals. They are raptors that are accustomed to being in their native settings where they are allowed to go on unrestricted food hunts. They strike and rip open their victim with the help of their razor-sharp talons.

Because of how powerful and pointed these talons are, owls may easily shatter the skull of a fox or any other tiny mammal with them. Thus, teaching these birds to respect your furniture or refrain from biting you with their beaks would be extremely challenging, if not impossible.

Owning an owl involves not only taking on a lot of responsibility and caring for the animal, but also always approaching it with extreme caution. Owls are not sociable creatures and can be violent against outsiders.

Although they won’t assault somebody, they can bite if they are stressed or anxious and have quite sharp beaks as well. Because they may and will damage any pillows, sofas, and soft toys they can land on, owls cannot be left alone inside the house like parrots, which have been successfully tamed for years.

Even while you are cleaning their space or feeding them, they could mistake your hand for food and scratch or hurt you unintentionally.

It will be extremely dangerous to leave the owl alone with children or other pet animals like dogs to play, as there will be a great risk of the bird harming them. Although anyone wanting to own an owl as a pet will have to get a permit and be properly trained as to how to deal with their peculiar pet.

Can You Have an Owl as a Pet?

Owls are amazing animals. They might be adorable or quite magnificent in appearance. They appear in myths, tales, and folklore as everything from shapeshifters to wisdom symbols. They are frequently portrayed as interesting and enjoyable companion animals in movies and novels. All of this begs the question: Is an owl a petable animal? If so, are owls suitable as pets?

The quick response is no. Animal rehabbers, avian specialists, and others involved in owl care do not advise or encourage keeping owls as pets. Having a pet barn owl—or any owl, for that matter—is regrettably not ideal for a variety of reasons, regardless of how adorable they may be.

Owls are Wild at Heart

Depending on where you live, seeing an owl on a nature walk might not be unusual. It might be simple to forget that owls are wild at heart because they frequently frequent regions where humans also reside. Despite having smooth and silky feathers, they are formidable predators with razor-sharp talons and beaks.

Because they are raptors at the top of the food chain, they spend their waking hours hunting and protecting themselves from other apex predators. They are the wildest of the wild.

Owls Are Carnivores

If you maintain an owl, you must provide it with fresh meat every day. Since owls only consume meat, giving raw meat to an animal is not a pleasant chore.

Despite the fact that most wild predators maintained in captivity are given thawed-out stored frozen foods, doing this daily and dealing with the blood and leftovers is not for the weak of stomach.

Additionally, owls only consume entire animals, such as rodents, which must be obtained from commercial sources, and will not consume hamburgers or steak. Few individuals actually like keeping rats and guinea pigs in the freezer with their family’s frozen delicacies.

And owls are known for making a mess when they eat. To consume little bits of prey, the eating process involves tearing the prey to pieces. This mess must be cleaned up after each feeding. Owls use their hearing and vision to hunt tiny rodents in the wild.

The brains of many owls can construct a three-dimensional auditory picture of their environment thanks to the varying heights of their ear openings.

Even in your house, an owl will mimic its hunting impulse and consume food furiously. An owl is harmful to anyone who is not experienced and skillful due to its instinct to dig its sharp claws into any source of food, including a human hand-delivering the meal.

They Take Up a Lot of Room

Owls’ size might be misleading. Many of them are smaller than domestic cats, giving the impression that they are little, and up until they open their wings, they are. The wingspan of even a little great horned owl, which weighs around three pounds, is close to four feet.

They are therefore a bad match for any type of birdcage as well as kennels, hutches, and other tiny animal housing facilities. The reason they have such large wingspans is because owls require space to move about when hunting. They might feel crowded in small spaces since their hunting grounds can extend beyond half a mile.

Owls Require a Permit

As a wildlife species, owls require special training before you can get a permit to keep one in captivity. Your ability to lawfully retain an owl depends on your training and licensing. even the United States’ licensing

You can only work as a rehab expert for owls, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Once an owl is fit and healthy, it must be returned to the wild, per the rules.

A permanently handicapped owl is also not a good “pet.” You must also obtain an education permit, which will keep you quite busy, if an owl is injured and cannot be released. You are required to conduct a specific number of public educational programs each year under the terms of this educational permit.

State-by-state variations in education standards apply, however in order to keep your permit you must comply with certain minimal standards. Finally, a raptor may only be considered an educational bird if it has had a very small number of wounds.

In other words, it is quite challenging to legally maintain a raptor in a household context because to the severe licensing and educational permission regulations. An illegally held owl is typically referred to as a “pet.”

In the US, it is illegal to retain wild owls unless there are unique conditions, however this is not the case elsewhere. For instance, keeping wild owls is permitted in the UK.

But soon after the Harry Potter-inspired boom in owl ownership, some birds were abandoned. Families just couldn’t handle the requirements of caring for an owl in captivity.

Owls Don’t Cuddle

Even though owls are frequently portrayed as having kind hearts, they don’t typically exhibit or receive affection from anyone outside of their nest. To handle them safely, special gloves are needed because to their sharp talons, and even those can still cause serious cuts.

The fact that owls are naturally solitary is another factor. They simply want to be left alone. They hunt and live alone. Breeding season is the one exception.

Owls Are Nocturnal

Because owls are nocturnal animals, they hunt and are active at night. Owls, unlike other birds, create sounds at night, particularly during the breeding season. While domestic parrots may make a lot of noise during the day, they are usually quiet at night and do not bother nearby residents.

However, owls are naturally more vocal at night, when neighbors are most likely to be annoyed, as they interact and mate. You won’t win friends and favor with your neighbors if you keep a great horned owl in an outdoor aviary that hoots all night, every night, for the whole month of October.

They Don’t Eat Kibble

You can’t buy a package of tamed owl chow or register your pet barn owl for owl training classes as you do with pups.

Hunting tiny prey such fuzzy animals like mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, and other small birds is what owls do. They may eat up to three or four mice each day and need a diet high in entire prey. To avoid becoming too explicit, owls have talons and beaks that are made to rip apart their food, making them messy eaters.

Owls Need Constant Care

In general, it’s not too difficult to find a boarding facility or pet-sitter when you need to travel or wish to take a holiday without your pet.

However, all pets expect care from their owners. However, an owl is not a pet that can be left in the care of just any nanny. Finding a caregiver prepared to defrost frozen rodents, feed them to a dangerous owl, and then clean up the gory mess is difficult.

Your travel possibilities will be significantly reduced if you keep an owl. If you insist on having a home, be prepared to stay in it.

Owls Keep Odd Hours

You might just want to relax in your yard with your pet owl on a nice afternoon. The owls don’t cooperate in this situation either.

Since they are nocturnal, their waking hours start when yours do. In addition, owls are hardly the quietest of birds and are notorious for humming loudly all night long. There is a reason why the term “night owl” exists.

Owls Are Messy

You’re in for a treat, then. Owls feces. They do lots of feces. They leave excrement all everywhere. Additionally, unlike parrots, which consume mostly vegetables, owl feces stinks and contains the waste product of digested meat. Additionally, owls will vomit pellets that contain the feathers and bone fragments from the recently consumed animal corpses.

Although all birds are dirty, owls are among the messiest of all bird species. If you have an owl, you will need to regularly clean up feces, pellets that have been regurgitated, feathers, and any other debris that gets left on the floor of your sizable aviary. Owning a huge parrot seems carefree in compared to keeping an owl.

Owls are Bad House Guests

Owls are known to significantly harm their local surroundings due to their untidy feeding habits and sharp talons. Because of this, they are incompatible with everyday household objects including clothes, furniture, and other comforts of home life.

They can’t help it; they don’t mean to rip a gash in your kitchen cabinets and tear up your throw cushions.

The Bottom Line

Numerous experts agree that owls are not a creature that would make a good pet. Tamara Barker-Hanley, a raptor handler, responded to a question concerning the desirability of owls as pets by saying that they “make horrible pets because they are wild creatures, they are a federally protected species under the migratory bird act, and they would inflict serious pain if not handled appropriately.”

The Cincinnati Zoo’s team leader for the bird division, Steve Malowski, points out that private individuals are not likely to be eligible for owl-keeping licenses.

The USFWS (United States Fish and Wildlife Service) is pretty stringent, so I would leave it to the professionals and dismiss all the adorable movies of owls purportedly kept as pets. Europe and other places may be different.

You Can’t Leave Town Without Them

There is no such thing as an owl-friendly resort, and you can’t exactly leave an owl at home for the reasons mentioned above (among them being their nutritional demands and propensity for damage), in addition to another issue: imprinting.

Early in a newborn animal’s existence, imprinting occurs, which is the process through which they develop particular bonds. Like many other birds, owls form strong attachments to their first caregivers. Once an owl knows you as its mother, it is unlikely to let anybody else handle it or get near to it. Owls are a need for both daily life and travel.