Owls may seem like cute and cuddly birds but believe me this isn’t true. They are not supposed to be kept as pets. They are truly wild birds and they belong in the wild. The desire to keep owls as pets started after the release of the first Harry Potter book. Harry Potter has a beautiful white owl called Hedwig and this gave people the idea that owls can be kept as pets. People started considering dogs, cats, guinea pigs too mainstream and owls started appearing exotic and interesting as pets. Sorry to burst the bubble guys but in most countries keeping a pet owl isn’t even legal. The only people who are allowed to keep and breed owls are professionals who have been certified as trainers or are permitted to take care of baby or abandoned owls. After the harry potter craze got over, thousands of owls were abandoned and released into the wild by people who couldn’t take care of them anymore. Keeping an owl is no joke. They need lots of space and cleaning their cage takes a lot of work. Usually an owl lives for about 20 years and bringing one home would mean devoting twenty years of your life in its service.
Owls need a twenty feet aviary and they are really expensive moreover owls need to flap their wings for about five times before landing or else they get a chest infection. The Harry Potter craze resulted in people buying owls without even thinking if they could keep them or not. There was a certain lady who kept two owls in her bedside cabinet in her bedroom and a man who kept an European Eagle owl which has a wingspan of about five feet in his one bedroom apartment. This was the kind of madness which was prevalent after the release of the Harry Potter books. We cannot blame J.K Rowling for this phenomenon because that’s how the minds of people work. If they see something in a movie they must have it. They don’t stop to think about the consequences of bringing an owl home. Owls aren’t supposed to be kept as pets at all. They are predatory birds and no matter what you do they cannot become cockatiels.
REASONS WHY AN OWL CAN’T BE TREATED AS A PET
They cannot be left unsupervised
Owls imprint on the person who has brought them up from a young age which means that they will not accept the care of another person easily. This means that in case you plan to go on a vacation or a business trip you cannot just simply give your owl to your neighbor and hope that your owl adjusts to him. Taking an owl with you on a business trip can be equally tricky because the airlines require a lot of permits before they let you take your owl with you to another country. Moreover traveling can also be stressful for your pet owl.
Destructive in nature
Owls are very destructive in nature because they are predatory birds. Their natural instincts make them want to “murder” everything in sight whether living or non living. Given the chance they will rip apart you curtains, sofas, woodwork and anything else which they can lay their claws on.
Banshees during mating season
Owls behave no less than banshees during their mating season. During the morning hours and late evening owls start hooting loudly and human imprinted owls perceive themselves as humans and their hoots are directly aimed at their owners so the humans have to hoot along in order to avoid a very angry owl.
Owls are no dogs
Owls don’t like being petted and touched so if you love your hands don’t go around touching owls even if it has been fully trained and knows you well. No matter how much you train an owl a wild animal will always be a wild animal, it’s just how they are built. You cannot keep it in a cage and train it and hope that one day it will behave like a cockatiel or love you like your dog does.
Owls are quick and powerful birds that have sharp talons which can be very dangerous. Even people who have years and years of experience in handling these birds have lost their eyes or have been severely scarred due to these unpredictable birds.
Frequently mess up their aviary
Whether an owl lives in an aviary or in your house they create a lot of mess. A full time crew will not be enough to clean up the mess your owl will make. Owls molt and poop a lot and sometimes drop smelly balls of fur and bones mixed with a tar like substance. Your house will never be the same again and if you keep your bird in an aviary make sure to clean it regularly to keep the place clean enough for your bird.
Keeping an owl as a pet is a strict NO NO. Not only are they not meant to be kept as pets but it is also illegal to keep a pet owl at home in most countries, they are wild animals and should be treated as such. If you are really addicted to owls then sponsor an owl at a bird sanctuary where you can go visit it whenever you like and it will also give you great pleasure to know that you saved an owl’s life. Pets are to be loved and they cannot be treated as a fashion accessory. People must stop getting pets just because the leading character in a movie had them. The poor animals have to suffer due to man’s incompetence because he still doesn’t know what is right and what is wrong.