There is currently a very worrying trend towards keeping birds of prey, particularly owls and also large parrots as “pets”. In most cases these birds make terrible “pets”…..!
Owls, certainly the larger ones such as the European Eagle Owl, can be a very dangerous animal.They are often being sold to and kept by inexperienced people in totally inappropriate conditions. In the wild the European Eagle Owl is quite capable of killing a fox by crushing its skull with its feet or in captivity, amputating a child’s finger with its beak. Not a bird to be kept at the end of the garden by an inexperienced owner. It has a 6’ wing span and needs a very large aviary if kept in captivity. Many of these birds find their way to The Owls Trust, sometimes in an appalling condition, simply because their owner was unable to cope.
Birds of prey do not make good pets. Captive bred, hand reared owls can be very sweet and good natured but it can never be forgotten that they are wild animals, have never been domesticated and need thoughtful and experienced handling and care.
A brief word about parrots
Some of the larger parrots are now coming down in price due to an increase in private breeders selling these birds to the public. To take on one of these birds is equivalent to introducing a two to three year old child into the house. Unless you are prepared for the commitment that would mean it would be better if you did not do it. It is also worth bearing in mind the age that some of these birds can live to. The European Eagle Owl could live with you for up to 50 years. The longest lived Triton Cockatoo recorded in captivity died at London Zoo aged 145 years…..!