A few pictures of some Tawny owl chicks we have rehabilitated over the
years, showing our husbandry for wild owlets.
It is perfectly normal for Tawny chicks to ‘branch out’ from
their nests. Unless they are in direct danger, they should be left well
alone. Parent birds will feed them, Tawny owls are very vocal and finding
each other is no challenge.
Chicks which are covered in a white down are under 3 weeks of age. At
this age they need to be fed hand. Of course this cannot be done by human
hand as this would cause imprinting, which is not only illegal but will
render the chick unable to be returned to the wild.
Therefore we use a Tawny owl wing, with tweezers poked through, in order
to feed the chick without it seeing humans.
From 4 weeks of age, the chick can fed itself and is moved from one box
to another via a partition, where the food is already present, again avoiding
Once almost fledged, the chick moves into a secluded aviary, food is
delivered via a feed shoot. Usually there are other young owls for it
Once the chicks are hard penned (fully feathered) and flying around the
aviary well, they are moved to a hack site in order to prepare for release.
Once at the hack site, they become accustomed to the aviary, territory
and will eventually be released from here on soft release. This means
they are free but will return to the aviary for food.
Return visits can be monitored but sadly amateur photographers usually
end up with a blurry , night time shot!