I've seen an owl, which species is it?
There are 5 species of owl in Britain.
- barn owl (see the Barn Owl section),
- little owl
- long-eared owl
- short-eared owl
- the tawny owl.
See the RSPB website for detailed descriptions.
How do I encourage owls into my garden / field?
As owls need areas of rough grassland with good populations of rodents it is a good idea to leave areas of unmown grass that will provide cover for rodents and a good hunting ground for owls.
Also retain grassy edges along hedges and ditches and provide posts for high perching places for the owls.
You can also provide nesting boxes, the RSPB website gives details on how to make a nestbox for larger birds.
I've found a sick / injured owl, what should I do?
If you find a sick or injured owl it is legal to take the bird into you care until it has recovered but it must be released as soon as it is fit to live in the wild once more.
It is a very time-consuming exercise to rehabilitate an owl and you must be prepared to put in a lot of effort into helping the bird recover. If you do find a sick or injured owl and you do not want to look after it yourself, contact the RSPCA or local veterinary surgeon who should be able to advice you as to what to do.
See the RSPB for more information.
I've found a baby owl that has fallen from its tree hole, what should I do?
Owl chicks are mobile from a very early age and climb up and down trees from before they are even half-grown.
The best advice is to leave the young owl where it is, as the parents were probably frightened away by your approach and are waiting close by until you have gone.
If however the young owl is in a dangerous position it is perfectly ok to move it to a safe place within close proximity to the actual place you found it, as birds do not respond to human scents in the same way as mammals.
If you remove the young owl from the wild and take it home with you the chances of it surviving are dramatically reduced. The RSPB website has more information.