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Name:        John S.
Status: other
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2002028

Do barred owls live and thrive in captivity? I heard that they die quickly if care by man?


I had the fortune to work with Barred Owls for two years using radio telemetry tracking and I handled them briefly on occasions. Very young Barred Owls probably could adapt to captivity if cared for by a trained expert, but adults would never be able to adapt and the stress would affect their health. Injured adult birds have been known to survive in the care of licensed ornithologists or veterinarians.

If this note is a product of a known captive owl, you should take it upon yourself to get this bird back into its habitat. If the bird is injured, contact a veterinarian right away; they will know exactly what to do. There are organizations to rehabilitate the bird, many are located around vet.schools. Zoos care for many injured animals that are unable to return to the wild.

Right now (late January)is the time nesting behavior is beginning in the north and that should be considered another reason to act. In many regions, these birds are declining in numbers.

Barred Owls are protected by State and Federal laws for good reason. It took three license for me to handle them and I was challenged by State Troopers and State conservation officers alike. It is good to know that many people care about our wildlife.

Thanks for your question, you can be assured that others may benefit as a result.

Steve Sample

Care of barred owls in captivity is not much different from that of other owls and birds of prey, they can thrive if properly cared for. However, only properly licensed facilities with trained keepers and educational or other legitimate purposes can get a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to keep owls or any other native birds.

J. Elliott

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