Here at the sanctuary we hear a lot of different questions from people. Listed below are the most common:
QWhat do owls eat?
ADepending on their size, owls eat anything from insects to rabbits and hares, but mostly mice, voles and shrews.
QAren’t they thirsty?
AOwls don’t normally drink water – they take blood from their prey instead. However they have to keep clean – this is problematic for owls as they cannot easily tell the depth of water, and owls often drown as their feathers are not oiled.
QWhy are they panting?
AOwls don’t sweat, so they use this method to cool when very hot or under stress, much like dogs do.
QWill they bite me?
AOwls don’t have teeth, but their beaks are quite sharp and used to tear up food. However, the talons are the most dangerous and used to catch their prey.
QDo owls talk?
AOwls have their own language and use it to communicate with each other or to ward off an attack from a predator.
QCan owls turn their head right round?
AOwls have excellent vision, but their eyes are fixed in their sockets so they must turn their heads to alter their view. They have the ability to turn their head 3/4 of a circle, that’s 270 degrees.
QDo owls have ears?
AYes, they do have ears. They are slits, asymmetric, behind the facial mask. Their wonderful hearing and incredible sight make them a formidable predator. One ear is bigger than the other.
QWhy have you got them tied down?
AWhen owls are on display, they have leather anklets on their legs. These anklets are called Aylmeri and attached to these are jesses with slits in them so a line can be attached to secure them. This equipment is taken off when they go back to their enclosures.
QWhy have you got owls in the daytime?
AContrary to popular belief, that owls only hunt at night, they do hunt in the daytime especially when they have young to feed. However, it’s better for them to hunt at night as other birds have gone to sleep. As we are not funded, the birds we display help support the sanctuary.
QHow big can an owl get?
AThis depends on the species but the female European Eagle Owl can grow to have a 3 metre (10ft) wingspan!
QWhat do I do if I find an owl that looks hurt?
Always keep in mind: most wild animals are capable of inflicting serious injuries, especially if they are frightened or in pain. No matter how great your concern, never put yourself at risk.
And keep in mind that young animals on their own or without a parent have not necessarily been abandoned. Do not approach them or attempt to pick them up. Please seek advice instead.