Texas reg '65.269' trapping seasons and collecting areas page 5 of 6. letter (e) only American Kestrals ( Falco sparverius) and the Great-Horned owl (Bubo virginianus) may be taken when over one year old.
NAFHH by Beebe and Webster had this to say. pg.222 chap. 28 "Nearly all Horned-owls' and the occasional wild cought accipiter, are virtually untamable" pg.211 chap. 26 " There are few creatures on earth more stubbornly resistant to restraint or taming than an adult wild-cought Horned-owl." pg. 212 chap. 26 " Horned-owls taken from the nest three weeks or so after hatching are usually hostile, often persistantly so." pg. 212 chap. 26 " Younger birds taken a week to ten days after hatching, apparently imprint to the human, and the result is very remarkable, for such birds are just as persistantly and determinedly tame as the others are persistantly wild."
The following is from www.oxfordshireowls.com/ We have a team of hand reared Owls that we take to schools, this gives the children a unique opportunity to get really close to these fascinating creatures and learn about them, an education pack is provided for the teachers with lots of things for the children to do inside. We can also bring reptiles if you wish. We are happy to come along, with the Owls of course, to any fetes or outside events, and to give talks to any organisations or groups. The Owls are available for photography and promotional events. OWL EVENINGS. We hold Owl Evenings once a month and if you are fascinated by these mysterious birds you will enjoy this evening, which is spent learning about them and why they are so different, you will get to hold different types of Owl on the fist and get really close to them. Refreshments are provided. OWLEXPERIENCES. Two hours spent with the Owls of your choice with a chance to get to know them and walking them on the gloved hand. This is meant to be a personal introduction to the world of the Owl. Date and time to suit you, if you would like to bring a friend this can be arranged. Gift vouchers are available for a present with a difference. Prices and Dates on application
the following is from www.centralpets.com/index.shtml Specific Care Information: Relative Care Ease: Average Great Horned Owls may be used in falconry but a common complaint is that they are stubborn. Many falconers complain that wild-caught Great Horned Owls are nearly impossible to train and say that imprints or eyases are necessary for good hunting. Problems also include the legality of night hunting, which varies from place to place. Also, the perch and swoop method of hunting, which the Great Horned Owl uses, makes it difficult for the Owl to be used in long chases and nearly impossible for use with dogs. Imprinted Great Horned Owls are often sociable and form strong bonds with their handlers. Great Horned Owls are powerful hunters and intelligent birds, and it is said that they are enthusiastic bird hunters as well being valuable in mammal hunting
The following link www.blythowls.co.uk/index.html has excellent photo sequences of hand raised owls and a links page to more owl info. some quotes; Young Bengal One of the better Eagle Owls for flying and demo work. Boobook Great display bird, fast and impressive in flight Canadian Great Horned Owl Large and beautiful but not for the beginner 8 week old Horned Owls An impressive bird but not one for the beginner a little like the Goshawk this owl requires an experienced handler.
Why do the british have better luck with owls than U.S. falconers? Follow this link www.discoverit.co.uk/falconry/index.htm Falconry in England includes owls unlike the U.S.A. which is restricted to the Great Horned Owl (Bubo Virginianus)
Introduction to Falconry This is a half-day course during which we will introduce you to our birds and show you how to care for them. You will be shown how to pick up the bird, oil the jesses and attach the swivel. We will even teach you how to tie the Falconer's Knot! We will explain about the bird's diet, food preparation and housing and afterwards you can join one of our training or flying sessions.
Duration: 3 hours (although you will be welcome to spend the rest of the day with us at the Centre.)
Due to the popularity of this course, we would appreciate a few days notice.
Behind the Scenes This is an ideal holiday treat for children aged from 12 upwards to show exactly how our Bird of Prey Centre operates. You will be made an honorary member of staff for the day and will shadow one of our Falconers in his daily routine. You will watch and learn how the Flying Squad are weighed and handled. You will help to clean the mews and prepare the food for the birds. You will, also watch and learn (and maybe even assist) how we carry out our Flying Displays.
Duration: Either a full or half day (remember to bring a packed lunch)
Numbers are limited on this course, therefore advance booking is advised.
Children's Course A holiday treat for younger children aged 8 to 14 years. This short course is ideal for children interested in nature and birds in general. Children will learn how birds fly and hunt, and how feathers work. They will dissect an owl pellet and be introduced to an Owl, Falcon, Hawk, Buzzard or a Vulture. (Take a look at our Bookstore where you can buy an excellent introductory book for children).
Duration: 2 hours
Bird Managment Course This is a full or part day course for those who are interested in finding out what it takes to master the art of Falconry and Bird Management. This is designed to give a good all round introduction to falconry for those of you who would like to keep a bird of your own. During your day with us you will learn about Falconry, furniture, accommodation, bird handling, knots, training a bird for free flight, health and hygiene, and of course, choosing and buying a Bird of Prey. You will also gain some experience in flying one of our birds within our flying grounds.
Aged 14 years upwards.
Please take note of the ages, as young as eight. Many things they are doing with the paying public would be illegal under U.S. regulations and would require the courses to be restricted to people that. 1. are 14 years of age or older 2. have taken the falconry test and scored a minimum of 80% 3. have their sponsor present
As you can see by this site many countries are not as hampered with restrictions as we are. One would have to surmise that this fosters an environment for more experimentation without the constant threat of persecution or prosecution.
Another example of possibly why the British and the British isles have more experience. www.gleneagles.com/ search the site for FALCONRY the following is a quote from a woman that does not have a permit, license, or sponsor. My traveling companion was afraid of birds, so she passed on this activity. Too bad. For me it was one of the most exciting things I have ever tried. Opportunities to experience the thrill of falconry are not common. Rarer still is the opportunity to experience with all the comforts and refinements of true Scottish sporting hospitality. Falconry is probably the oldest and most aristocratic of sports and has fired the imagination of poets, princes and warriors. And it might be the only thing I have in common with poets, princes and warriors.
In the majestic setting and wild beauty of the Perthsire hills, it is incredible to watch your hawk swoop towards your gloved fist. There are so many delights for the senses to take in--the tinkle of soft bells, the heather scented air, the grasp of talons as the bird steadies to your hand, the folding of wings, and the brightness of the hawk's beady eye. This is the very stuff that falconry is made of and so few are lucky or privileged to experience it. And to me the glory of it all is you can get the full rush of excitement the very first time you try it…because the very well-trained bird does it all. I mean, the trainer was there to tell me what to do--the bird knew his job perfectly. My gloved hand was but another tree branch to him.
Unlike horseback riding where you get a sense of bonding and controlling your horse, in falconry, the bird makes almost all the decisions. And that's okay when you are on vacation.
I was really attracted to falconry. Maybe because it is a bit like massage. You put out your arm and someone else does all the work. That is my kind of sport.
If you read the whole site as I have you will see that some countries are promoting falconry where as in this country I would say quite a few are trying to restrict the growth and maintain the elitism of their hobby, sport, art.
more sites on the GHO markfabrizio.com/owl/ some photos are fuzzy but very discernable. A super site on all things owl. www.owlpages.com/ If you look around you will be rewarded with a "call" page with different sounds the GHO makes. Excellent photos. Overall I rate the owlpages link a 5 on a 5 point scale. From Atlanta GA Female Master falconer, rehaber etc. Monteen McCord www.hawktalk.org/index.htm Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus Striking in appearance with yellow eyes and ear tufts, one of the nicknames of the Great Horned Owl is "flying tiger" and they have certainly earned that reputation! Because hunger is a strong motivator, (and because they CAN), the substantially larger female has been known to attack prey including Roe deer, bobcat and porcupine. Skunk is a favorite meal because Great Horned Owls don't have a sense of smell. Very few birds have olefactory lobes developed to allow this sense which is so vital in many other species of animal. However, shore birds, some scavengers, and the Kiwi from New Zealand have the ability to smell.
The Great Horned Owl is a fearsome aerial predator and is the only Eagle Owl of the America's. Although they don't migrate, except for the northernmost, their breeding range extends from the Arctic tundra to Tierra Del Fuego. Great Horned Owls breed as early as January in many places. The babies need a lot of "hang time" in order to hone their hunting skills before being forced from the terrority by their parents in late fall. I think humans are the only animals that allow their children to return home! These are large birds and need lots of groceries to sustain them. The deep, melodious call of the Great Horned Owl is one of the best known sounds of the night woods. "Sam" called in two wild pair last winter. It was a real "Hootfest"!
Great photos of a gal and her owl at this site. www.flightoftheraptor.com Lots of Renaissance Festival pics great costumes! I have sent her an email in the hopes that she will be a guest Master falconer on the boards.
It was interesting to read how they suggest owls are great as long as they are imprinted and that they are basically "affectionate" to the falconer that raised them......hell yeah they are. Pardon the expression but they are like "stink on SH!@t". I have never personally seen an imprinted great-horned owl that was not a viscious screamer and during training I've have friends say their owl wouldn't let go of a dummy bunny for up to 4 days.......stuborn was a very correct term used above! LOL
I have heard the exact same thing!! I talked with a gal that has two eurasia eagle owls and that's the problem she had. One of them would grab the glove four a couple of hours before letting go......and they say the EEO is the smart one??
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines "Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day; give him a religion................ and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish."
Close to the gos, owls are the most aggressive raptors. They kill everything they possibly can. Great-horned owls have been well documented on killing other GHO, ferruginous hawks and golden eagles along with skunks and porcupines and fox. They are also extremely protective over their quarry which is why they don't want to let go of it, the lure or the glove. This probably stems from the fact that they are night preditors liek most other preditors like coyote, fox, weasels, bobcats, cougars, skunks, raccoons, etc., etc. which could smell their kill and come in and steel it. Owls are also one of the very few species of raptors that eat carrion that is left over in the nest or on the ground where they put it and remember to go back to it at a later time.
owlpages.com/species/bubo/virginianus/Default.htm Hunting & Food: Great Horned Owls hunt by perching on snags and poles and watching for prey, or by gliding slowly above the ground. From high perches they dive down to the ground with wings folded, before snatching prey. Prey are usually killed instantly when grasped by its large talons. A Great Horned Owl may take prey 2 to 3 times heavier than itself. They also hunt by walking on the ground to capture small prey or wading into water to snatch frogs and fish. They have been known to walk into chicken coops to take domestic fowl. Rodents and small rabbits can be swallowed whole while larger prey are carried off and ripped apart at feeding perches or at the nest. Birds are often plucked first, and legs and wing tips discarded. An extremely wide range of prey species (at least 253 identified) are captured, but rabbits and hares are its preferred prey. Mammalian prey includes all coexisting rodents, squirrels, mink, skunks, raccoons, armadillos, porcupines, domestic cats and dogs, shrews, moles, muskrats, and bats. Bird prey includes all other Owls (except Snowy Owl), grouse, woodpeckers, crows, turkeys, pigeons, Red-tailed Hawks, bitterns, Great Blue Heron, ducks, swans, gulls, etc. Reptiles include snakes, turtles, lizards, and young alligators. Amphibians include frogs, toads, and salamanders. Other foods include fish, large insects, scorpions, centipedes, crayfish, worms, spiders, and road killed animals. Pellets are very large, about 7.6 to 10.2 cm (3- 4") long and 3.8 cm (1½") thick. Pellets are dark greyish-black and compact. Skulls as wide as 3 cm (1.2") are regurgitated whole. Pellets are regurgitated 6 to 10 hours after eating.
Please visit above site to see and hear more about the GHO and to see a Leucistic "White" GHO. At this site lots of photos of Eagles, owls and children oh my, Eagles, owls and children oh my. "holding them" Actually I only saw photos of children holding Eagle-owls. www.scottishfalconry.co.uk/index.htm jim
OTHER NAMES: Big Hoot Owl; Cat Owl; Virginia Owl; Virginia Horned Owl. GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Length, 24 inches; spread of wings, 60 inches. Color above, sooty-brown or dusky, mottled with grayish-white; below, whitish, barred with dark. Ear-tufts very conspicuous, about 2 inches in length; toes fully feathered; 3 or 4 outer primaries notched or cut away on inner webs. ADULTS: Plumage in general, tawny basally, this partially exposed on crown and hindneck, on shoulders,.rump, and sides of breast, sometimes on other portions of the under parts; general color of upper parts, dark sooty-brown or dusky, much broken by coarse transverse mottling of grayish-white, the dusky greatly predominating on crown and hindneck, where forming broad ragged or coarsely and irregular saw-toothed longitudinal stripes which become blended on forehead; shoulders and some of the middle and greater wing-coverts with inconspicuous irregular spots or blotches of whitish; secondaries more minutely mottled (producing a more grayish effect), and crossed by about five to eight bands of mottled dusky; primary coverts, darker, crossed by three of four bands of blackish; primaries with ground color more ochraceous or buffy, finely mottled or penciled, and crossed by six to nine transverse series of square spots of dusky; ground color of tail, light tawny, transversely mottled with dusky, more whitish terminally, and crossed by six or seven bands of mottled dusky, these about equal in width to the paler interspaces and bands broken or sometimes even quite obliterated on middle tail-feathers where the darker markings have an oblique or, sometimes, even longitudinal tendency; ear-tufts with outer webs black, their inner webs mostly ochraceous; "eyebrows," dull whitish, the feathers with blackish shafts; face, dingy ochraceous or dull tawny, passing into dull whitish around eyes; a crescentic mark of black bordering upper eyelid and confluent with black of ear-tufts; facial circle, black, except across throat; a conspicuous, crescentic area of immaculate white across foreneck, the feathers white to extreme base; rest of under parts with white predominating, but tawny or ochraceous prevalent on sides of breast and showing as the base color wherever the feathers are disarranged; sides of chest, breast, and abdomen, sides,&bull and flanks, with numerous sharply defined transverse bars of brownish black, these narrower and less sharp&bully defined on front, the center of upper breast immaculate white, a series of large spots or blotches of black on chest, below the white collar; under tail-coverts with bars farther apart than on other under parts; legs and toes, dull tawny to pale buff, usually immaculate or nearly so, more rarely flecked or spotted with dusky; bill, dull slate-black or blackish-slate; iris, bright lemonchrome yellow; bare portion of toes, light brownish-gray or ashy; claws, horn color, passing into black terminally. NEST: Generally, in a deserted Hawk's, Crow's, Eagle's, Osprey's, or Caracara's nest or (in some parts of its range) in a cave, on a ledge, or in a hollow tree; constructed of twigs, weed stalks, roots, and feathers when in an old nest, or eggs deposited on the bare ground amidst a collection of old bones, skulls, fur, and feathers of quadrupeds and birds. EGGS: 2 or 3, white. YOUNG: Wings and tail as in adults; downy plumage of head, neck, and body, ochraceous or buff, relieved by detached, rather distant, bars of black.
Distribution: Eastern North America from Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland south to the Gulf coast and Florida, west to Wisconsin, eastern Minnesota, Iowa, and eastern Texas.
" Tiger of the Air " is the term which has been applied to this great Owl, and fitly, too, it must be admitted, for the big bird undeniably is courageous, powerful, and bloodthirsty. That he is highly destructive must also be conceded, for it has been demonstrated beyond question of a doubt not only that he is bold, persistent, and generally successful in his raids upon domestic poultry of all kinds, but that he is highly skillful and deadly in his pursuit of game birds, song birds, rabbits, and squirrels. The tiger comparison applies well to the Owl's manner of hunting,.for the sweep of his great wings in the silent air is as noiseless as the tread of the big cat's padded feet upon the soft earth. Through the woods and over the meadows he glides as silently as a shadow, and to the unwatchful rabbit or the slumbering Partridge that shadow is the shadow of certain and sudden death. For such creatures the Owl's lightning-like swoop, and the murderous clutch of his great talons, are as pitiless and as inescapable as the spring of the tiger upon the helpless lamb. To the poultry-farmer this Owl is a veritable terror; for, once the bird has acquired a preference for a diet of domesticated fowls, and has learned that they are easier to capture than are the wild creatures, nothing short of death is at all likely to deter him. For young Turkeys he is likely to develop an especially strong craving, and one instance is recorded of the loss by a farmer of fifty-nine young Guinea-fowl, taken in a single autumn by the same Owl. In such instances the bird is likely to become fastidious to the extent that he will devour only the brains of his prey, and leave the flesh untouched. Of the mammals he has been known to kill even the woodchuck, and he and other members of his family are apparently the only rapacious birds who frequently dine on the skunk, with the well-known results which, however, evidently do not in the least trouble the Owl. The bird's breeding habits are peculiar. In the general latitude of Michigan the eggs are laid be.fore the first of March, and many instances are recorded of their being laid as early as the first week in February, or even in the latter part of January, when the winter has been unusually mild. It is by no means uncommon to find an Owl stolidly incubating under a thick blanket of snow. Two eggs are the normal complement, and there is evidence that frequently they are laid with an interval of several days between them, for often a nest is found to contain a partly fledged bird and an unhatched egg. This peculiarity has prompted the dubious inference that the interval between the eggs is deliberately planned, so that the later one may be protected by the fledgling when the mother is away from the nest. It is much more probable that the interval represents natural operations which are imperfect, rather than designed.
"Dr. Louis Bennett Bishop and Mr. Herbert K. Job have both noted an unusual habit of the parent birds in apparently destroying the nest when the young become old enough to balance themselves in the fork of the tree, thus removing the conspicuous nest and leaving the bird well protected by the harmony of its colors with the bark of the tree." (Reported in Birds of Connecticut. ) The hooting cry of Owls is perhaps as famous as is the note of any bird. In fact, it is so famous that uninformed or careless listeners apply the term " hoot owl" to any bird who has a hooting call. As a result such persons often confuse two or more distinct species, especially the Great Horned Owl and the Barred Owl, though there is a marked difference between the hoots of these two birds, that of the Great Horned being much the stronger and more characteristic. This bird also has a series of yelps, not unlike those of a dog, and a catlike squall, to which may be due one of its popular names, " Cat Owl," though the appearance of the bird's head with its conspicuous ear-tufts is not unlike that of a cat The "oot-too-hoo, hoo-hoo" call, with the syllables variously divided and differently accented is, however, the characteristic utterance of this remarkable and interesting bird, Sometimes, when heard at a distance, the audible notes, two long ones followed by two short ones, strongly suggest the warning which a locomotive engineer sounds with his whistle when he approaches a crossing. Usually the cry, like that of most Owls and of the night-birds generally, has an uncanny and weird significance, in which are blended distinct suggestions of threat, defiance, and scorn, as befits the fearless and savage nature of this veritable " tiger of the air."
The name of the genus to which the Great Horned Owl belongs is Bubo, which is Latin for Eagle-Owl. This genus has seven other representatives in North America. The Western, or Pallid, Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus pallescens) is similar to the Great Horned but smaller and lighter. It is found in western North America (exclusive of the high mountains) from eastern Oregon, Montana, and Minnesota south to southeastern California, Arizona, New Mexico, western Texas, and northeastern Mexico. The Pacific, or California, Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus pacificus) is found in the interior of California, north to south-central Oregon, and east to San Francisco Mountain, western Arizona. It is slightly smaller than the Western Horned Owl, generally darker, the feet more heavily mottled with duslke swoop, and the murderous clutch of his great talons, are as pitiless and as inescapable as the spring of the tiger upon the helpless lamb. The Dwarf Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus elachistus) occurs in southern Lower California; it is similar in coloration to the Pacific Horned Owl but much smaller. The Dusky Horned Owl (Bubo virgininianus saturatus) is similar to the Pacific Horned Owl but much darker, especially the upper parts; it is found from the interior of Alaska south along the coast to south-central California, and in the Rocky Mountains to Arizona and New Mexico. The Arctic Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus subarcticus or Bubo virginianus wapacuthu) is paler than the Western Horned Owl, the upper parts with much more of white and less of black, &bull the under parts less heavily barred, and the feet paler, usually immaculate buff or buffy white. It breeds from northwestern Mackenzie and central Keewatin to the southwestern Saskatchewan; in winter it travels southward to Ontario, Wisconsin, northeastern Illinois, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Colorado. The Labrador Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus heteroclnemis) is similar to the Dusky Horned Owl; but: its bill is larger, its rear under parts lighter, its feet paler and less heavily mottled, and its upper parts usually with less of a tawny admixture. It occurs on the coast of Labrador and Ungava; in winter it is found in Newfoundland, Ontario, and Toronto. The Saint Michael Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus algistus) is larger than the Pacific Horned Owl and with the tawny parts intensified in color. It is found in the coast region of northern Alaska from Bristol Bay and the Yukon delta northward. As a result of his investigations of the habits of this group of Owls, Dr. A. K. Fisher reports: "The large and handsome Great Horned Owl is found throughout the United States where suitable timber exists for its habitation. It is a voracious bird, and its capacity for good or evil is very great. If the more thickly settled districts where poultry is extensively raised could be passed by, and the bird considered only as it appears in the great West, it would earn a secure place among the beneficial species, for it is an important ally of the ranchman in fighting the hordes of ground squirrels, gophers, prairie dogs, rabbits, and other rodents which infest his fields and ranges. Where mammals are plenty it does not seem to attack poultry or game birds to any considerable extent, but in regions where rabbits and squirrels are scarce, it frequently makes inroads on fowls, especially where they roost in trees. Undoubtedly rabbits are its favorite food, though in some places the c!7mmon rat is killed in great numbers; we have a record of the remains of over one hundred rats that were found under one nest. The following is a list of the mammals taken from the stomachs examined: Three species of rabbits, cotton rat, two species of pouched gophers, two species of wood rats, chipmunk, two species of grasshopper mice, white-footed mouse, plateau ground squirrel, Harris ground squirrel, musk rat, fox squirrel, five species of meadow mice, one short-tailed shrew, the house mouse, common rat, black bat, red-backed mouse, flying squirrel, shrew, and kangaroo rat. Besides mammals and birds, insects (such as grasshoppers and beetles), scorpions, crawfish, and fish are also taken. The Great Horned Owl does a vast amount of good, and, if farmers would shut up their chickens at night instead of allowing them to roost in trees and other exposed places, the principal damage done by the bird would be prevented."
Of special interest to falconers are the size differences between the subspecies. This genus has seven other representatives in North America. The Western, or Pallid, Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus pallescens) is similar to the Great Horned but smaller and lighter. It is found in western North America (exclusive of the high mountains) from eastern Oregon, Montana, and Minnesota south to southeastern California, Arizona, New Mexico, western Texas, and northeastern Mexico. The Pacific, or California, Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus pacificus) is found in the interior of California, north to south-central Oregon, and east to San Francisco Mountain, western Arizona. It is slightly smaller than the Western Horned Owl, generally darker, the feet more heavily mottled with duslke swoop, and the murderous clutch of his great talons, are as pitiless and as inescapable as the spring of the tiger upon the helpless lamb. The Dwarf Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus elachistus) occurs in southern Lower California; it is similar in coloration to the Pacific Horned Owl but much smaller. The Dusky Horned Owl (Bubo virgininianus saturatus) is similar to the Pacific Horned Owl but much darker, especially the upper parts; it is found from the interior of Alaska south along the coast to south-central California, and in the Rocky Mountains to Arizona and New Mexico. The Arctic Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus subarcticus) or (Bubo virginianus wapacuthu) is paler than the Western Horned Owl, the upper parts with much more of white and less of black, &bull the under parts less heavily barred, and the feet paler, usually immaculate buff or buffy white.
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines "Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day; give him a religion................ and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish."