Barred Owls in Captivity
Name: John S.
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
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.
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Update: June 2012