Although they look cute and are portrayed in stories and cartoons as wise and calm creatures, owls are actually birds of prey, and some of the best raptor birds out there.
Unlike other raptors that hunt during the day, owls are mainly nocturnal hunters, which means they have no problem sharing an area with other predators, as they don’t feel the need to compete with anyone. These are birds that have very sharp claws called talons, as well as shape beaks, which they would use to hunt their prey and then eat it.
How Much Does a Pet Owl Cost?
There are several types of owls that are bred in captivity. The most popular one is the Eurasian Eagle Owl. Most owls cost somewhere between $3,000 and $4,200. As a US citizen, you will probably notice that it is rather hard to find a pet owl to adopt. This is because it is illegal to own an owl as a pet as long as you don’t have the needed permits or licenses.
The laws in the UK are different in this regard, and you can buy different types of owls from pet stores for a price of anywhere between just $250 and $1,200. Keep in mind that even if you do find an owl you’d like to keep as a pet, they are known as very bad pets, being very dedicated to their hunting activities, having very low brain power, and hardly ever bonding with their owners.
One website that has frequent classified ads with owl sales is BirdTrader.co.uk. This website featured Bengal owls, as well as snowy and barn specimens for prices between $250 and $1,000 at the time this article was written, The final cost will depend on factors like the reputation of the breeder, as well as the bird’s quality and age.
Additional costs related to owning an owl
Owls are strict carnivores. This means that they would need a unique diet made of mice, quail rabbits, rats, and so on. According to The International Owl Center, before feeding your pet owl these types of creatures, you should remove the intestines, bladder, and stomach before serving. An owl will likely eat a whole quail per day, and each quail costs somewhere around $5. According to experts, you should keep food for around 90 days for your owl in the freezer, just to be safe.
It will be pretty hard to find a vet in your area that has the necessary specialized training to deal with owls, so you’ll have to find a trained caregiver around you before you take the bird home. This might be a problem depending on your location, and you shouldn’t buy an owl on impulse if you can’t find a caregiver, even if you’re legally able to do it, as you might end up paying hundreds of dollars for each vet visit to your location, even for simple vet exams.
As the owl has impressive flying capabilities, you will have to consider a large cage in which the bird can exercise. One with access to both outdoor and indoor spaces will work best. This enclosure is also called a mew and building one, along with everything it needs, from housing units to perches, can easily go over the $1,000 price mark.
If you want to track your bird while it is hunting, then you should also consider telemetry equipment. Equipment needed for telemetry can easily cost more than $1,500 depending on what you buy.
Important things to consider
Owls are nocturnal in nature, although there are some exceptions among them. They are a group of birds of prey with very distinctive calls and an almost silent flight. They are categorized as being part of the order Strigiformes. There are currently around 216 different species of owls today. Out of them, 198 belong to the Strigidae family, which is the typical owl family, and the remaining 18 belong to the Tytonidae family, the Barn Owls.
You will recognize Barn Owls by their lack of ear tufts. They are also known for their heart-shaped facial disc. This is found in the area that surrounds the beak, eyes, and face of the bird. Owls belonging to the Strigidae Family are known for their shorter legs, wings, beak, and skull, compared to Barn Owls. They also have a round-shaped facial disc. When it comes to choosing a mate, both owl families exhibit monogamy. Both families are strict carnivores as well.
You will find Barn Owls mostly in Australasia, the area that is comprised of Tasmania, Malaysia, New Zealand, and others, also called Oceania. The typical owl family, on the other hand, is rather widespread, being found on all continents except Antarctica, although you’ll find most of them in the tropics. This is especially because of the high number of species.
Most owls have a wingspan of about 5 feet.
You should expect the typical owl to have a lifespan of up to twenty years.
Currently, there are no known individuals that live in the United States and have native owls as pets. Keeping a family pet owl is against the law in the United States as they are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. They can only be owned by licensed and trained individuals as either foster parents in centers, as they are trained, for academic purposes, or for breeding reasons.
Some states will allow particular species of owls to be made use of in falconry, although owls hardly ever make perfect falconry birds. Even in such circumstances, the certified person to keep an owl does not basically “own” the bird. The U.S. FWS maintains “ownership” of the owls and they may recall them at any point in time if the license conditions are not fulfilled.
A Great Horned Owl can live more than thirty years when in captivity, however, smaller-sized types can have a lifespan of only ten years.
An owl is known to make quite a mess as they constantly toss up their fur, bones, meat, and feathers all over. A lot of owls will throw their poop, frequently spraying it as far as they can.
These birds live and hunt on their own, which means, unlike other kinds of birds, that they do not grow up in flocks, making them really antisocial.