My adventures with predatory birds are a relatively recent endeavour. They began when my long-suffering better half joined a volunteer program at a nearby falconry centre.
In return for the impact she has made on their operations (which she insists were positive), formal training in handling and working with predatory birds has been offered.
“Great” I think to myself; she’s got a hobby which could lead to a professional vocation. This will make her happy and better still, it’ll get her out from under my feet – which will make me happy.
Three months later, a pair of great horned owls are shitting all over my living room.
And thus, her passion has become my problem. I’m told this is what relationships are all about. Bit of a bum deal, if you ask me.
Anyway, I’m not complaining. Predatory birds are incredible animals to spend time with and like with sharks, I appreciate getting to know individuals by their personalities.
Make no mistake, they’re not pets and few things annoy me as much as people expecting/wanting wild animals to be reduced to glorified sideshows. But I do consider those we work with extended family, as much as I do capable, powerful working animals.
Predatory Birds – Adventures of wings, claws and beaks
This is very much ‘Anna’s world’, similarly to how sharks are mine. That being said, I do enjoy following her lead and being involved with the animals wherever possible. Sure, this may predominantly involve cleaning up poop and getting bitten when we’re feeding and my mind wanders, but no joy is without its cost.
Like I say, it’s early days and so the number of adventures we’ve enjoyed are relatively few. Nevertheless, this is a world I am documenting my progression through since the second I entered it. So what might be lacking in quantity, I’ve aimed to compensate for in detail and pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.
Owl you doin’?
When we were offered the chance to look after and raise a pair of great horned owls, my immediate thought was “ugh, ballache”.
Then I figured it’d be incredible fun and a great learning opportunity, which I could also maintain a journal about.
I don’t know many people with predatory birds who would benefit from our own learning experience. That being said, if nothing else it’d provide me with a reference in future, should more birds come ‘under our wing’.
Great horned owl gallery
Photography is very much a hobby of mine, used as a means of documenting my experiences more so than a creative outlet.
The great thing about predatory birds is they tend to look bad ass, regardless of your skill set. I aim to prove this by maintaining a gallery of Skinky and Sassy (the owls we raised) as they grow, over the years.
Visit the Great horned owl gallery.