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How to Own an Owl in THE US

How to Own an Owl in the US

Owning an owl can be a fascinating and rewarding experience. These majestic creatures have captivated humans for centuries with their enchanting beauty and mysterious nature. However, it’s crucial to understand that owning an owl comes with great responsibility and specific legal requirements. In this article, we will guide you through the process of owning an owl in the US, including the necessary permits, care, and frequently asked questions.

Legal Requirements
Before embarking on the journey of owning an owl, it is crucial to understand the legal requirements and regulations surrounding it. Owls are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which means that owning one without proper permits is illegal. In the US, you can only possess an owl if you have obtained the appropriate permits.

To legally own an owl, you will need to acquire a federal permit called the “Federal Migratory Bird Depredation Permit” from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). This permit is granted to individuals or entities that can demonstrate a legitimate reason for owning an owl, such as wildlife rehabilitation, education, or falconry.

To obtain this permit, you will need to meet certain criteria established by the USFWS. These criteria involve knowledge and experience in handling birds of prey, proper facilities for housing the owl, and a suitable management plan detailing the bird’s welfare and conservation.

Care and Housing
Owls require specialized care and suitable housing to ensure their well-being. Prior to bringing an owl into your home, it is essential to create an appropriate environment that meets their specific needs.

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1. Housing: Owls need spacious enclosures that mimic their natural habitat. The enclosure should have ample room for the owl to spread its wings and fly short distances. It should also include perches, nesting areas, and a sheltered section to protect the owl from extreme weather conditions.

2. Diet: Owls are carnivorous and mainly feed on rodents, birds, and insects. It is crucial to provide them with a balanced diet that includes commercially available frozen rodents and a variety of bird species. Consult a veterinarian or an experienced owl owner for guidance on their specific dietary requirements.

3. Enrichment: Owls are intelligent creatures that require mental stimulation. Provide them with toys, puzzles, and perches of various heights to keep them engaged and prevent boredom.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can anyone own an owl as a pet?
A: Owning an owl requires a federal permit obtained through the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Only those with a legitimate reason, such as wildlife education or rehabilitation, are eligible for permits.

Q: Can I release my pet owl into the wild?
A: Pet owls aren’t suitable for release into the wild, as they often lack the skills necessary to survive. It is essential to consult with your local wildlife authorities to explore suitable alternatives for a retired or injured owl.

Q: How much does it cost to own an owl?
A: Owning an owl can be expensive. Costs include permits, proper housing, veterinary care, and a suitable diet. Additionally, unexpected expenses may arise, such as medical emergencies. It is crucial to be financially prepared to provide comprehensive care for your owl.

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Q: Can I keep an owl indoors?
A: While owls can be kept indoors temporarily, they require adequate space to fly and exercise. Owls are best suited for outdoor aviaries that provide a natural environment.

Q: Can I keep multiple owls together?
A: Owls are solitary birds and prefer to be alone. Keeping multiple owls together may lead to territorial disputes and stress.

Owning an owl is a unique and awe-inspiring experience. However, it is essential to remember that they are wild animals and require proper care, permits, and facilities. By understanding the legal requirements, providing appropriate housing, and offering a suitable diet, you can create a safe and enriching environment for your owl companion.

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