FAQS - Owls

I have found an adult owl by the side of the road

There is a chance that it may have been hit by a car.  Carefully pick up the owl, being careful to avoid the talons.  The easiest and safest way to do this is by wrapping a towel around the body.  Then the bird and towel can be placed in a box or cat carrier.  Keep the owl in a dark and quiet place and bring it to The Wildlife Aid Foundation as soon as possible.

I have found an adult owl on the ground near a window

The owl has probably flown into the glass and may be concussed.  Carefully pick up the owl, being careful to avoid the talons.  The easiest and safest way to do this is by wrapping a towel around the body.  Place it in a dark, ventilated box and keep it quiet for at least 2 hours.  After 2 hours check on the owl. If it seems to be improved try opening the box in your garden.  If the bird is not quite ready to fly, try keeping it dark for another two hours but do not try to release it if it is almost dusk. If the owl is not able to be released contact The Wildlife Aid Foundation and we will advise you what to do next. We may need to admit the owl for a short period before it can be released.

I have found an injured owl in my garden

Carefully pick up the owl, being careful to avoid the talons.  The easiest and safest way to do this is by wrapping a towel around the body.  Then the bird and towel can be placed in a box or cat carrier.  Keep the owl in a dark and quiet place and bring it to The Wildlife Aid Foundation as soon as possible.

I have found an owl caught in netting/barbed wire

Please try and gently wrap the bird in a small towel or cloth to keep it calm. Call The Wildlife Aid Foundation and we will send someone out to help. If you feel you are happy to try and release the owl yourself do take care to try and stay clear of the sharp talons and the beak. Once it is free carefully pick up the owl.  The easiest and safest way to do this is by wrapping a towel around the body.  Then the bird and towel can be placed in a box or cat carrier.  Keep the owl in a dark and quiet place and bring it to The Wildlife Aid Foundation as soon as possible.

I have found a young owl on the ground

If the owl is lively and uninjured, it may have come from a nest.  Try and identify what type of owl it is. It is possible that it may be a species of owl called a Little Owl.  These often nest on or near the ground in tree stumps and burrows and it may be a youngster who has wandered away a little too far from home.  Also note that Tawny Owls can also nest on the ground, so check that no parents are nearby.

If you have found a tawny owl or barn owl you can try lifting the bird up to as high a branch as you can reach and observe it from a distance.  Use thick gloves when you pick the owl up as they have very sharp talons! The best time to check on the owl is near dusk, when the parents should arrive to feed it.   If the parents do not visit it with food, please contact The Wildlife Aid Foundation. It is likely that the owl will need to come in to be fed.

If the owl is very wobbly and seems unwell, please keep it warm and quiet and bring it to us as soon as possible. Pick the bird up in a towel or with gloves as the talons and beak can cause injury and place it in a ventilated box or pet carrier.

Some useful telephone numbers:

Raptor Rescue: 0870 241 0609
RSPB: 01767 693690
Sandy Horvath: 07766 302242

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