Q:

Where can I buy an owl?

A:

Quick Answer

It is illegal to purchase or sell an owl in the United States. In countries where it is legal, owning an owl is a challenge that requires a great deal of research and commitment. Most sources, such as International Owl Center, do not condone owning owls as pets.

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Where can I buy an owl?
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Full Answer

In most countries, including the United States, it is illegal to own an owl without the proper permits for two reasons: the first is the Migratory Bird Act, a U.S. law which prohibits "...the pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, or sell..." of birds on the migratory birds list. Secondly, they are considered birds of prey, meaning they hunt and eat other animals.

While there are over 200 species of owl, the most popular is the snowy owl due to its appearance in the Harry Potter series. The recent popularity of owning owls as pets has actually sparked an endangered owl crisis in India; many parents have been caught purchasing owls illegally to give to children as pets.

As nocturnal birds, owls are most active at night and can be extremely destructive, according to the International Owl Center. Because they are solitary birds, owls are not affectionate and do not like to be touched; they also cannot be caged like a parrot or cockatoo and must be flown regularly for exercise.

Owls are also extremely dangerous, as they have powerful beaks and claws that can seriously injure their handlers. Their diet can also be very difficult for some people to handle, as they are carnivorous and require dead animals, such as rats, gophers, rabbits and mice.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What animals are predators of the snowy owl?

    A:

    Foxes, jaegers, dogs, wolves and large birds are predators of snowy owls. Many owls are also killed by humans. Snowy owls are very protective of their young, swooping over the nest and attacking predators to insure survival of the species.

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  • Q:

    What sound does an owl make?

    A:

    Owls make loud and soft hoots, screeches, rattling calls and quieter, two note calls. Some owls, such as the Sunda scops owl, give a whooping call.

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  • Q:

    What are some interesting elf owl facts?

    A:

    If an elf owl is captured, it plays dead while waiting for the danger to pass. Elf owls are the smallest owl species and only reach a height of about 5 inches.

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  • Q:

    What is the symbolic meaning of seeing an owl?

    A:

    Cultures throughout history have viewed owl sightings differently, with some believing that they are reminders to rely on personal wisdom and others that they are harbingers of death, sickness or general misfortune. The Greeks believed that owl sightings were a sign of good fortune. Ancient Greeks portrayed the goddess Athena, who was known for her wisdom, as being accompanied by an owl much of the time.

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