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Old 24-06-2017, 02:13 PM
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Alipopple Alipopple is offline
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Default Tawny owl attack

Hi
Can anyone advise me please?
2 years ago we took in a rescue tawny. She is not imprinted and was rescued as a 10 week old owlet - we offered her a home aged 4 because it was that or euthanasia. she has a 8'x6' shed area and an additional 10'x10' flight area.) I am happy to provide her with everything she needs and am not expecting hand feeding or overconfidence. She has been doing so well since we brought her here and her trust in us seemed to be really good. She even bathes when I am in the aviary but… recently (she is in full moult btw and lost over half of her wing feathers) she has been laying on perches and her nesting box flat with her chest down and her wings outstretched and drooping. She then flies or sits up as normal as soon as she is disturbed for chicks etc.. but today I was cleaning her out and changing her bath. She was laying down in the shed part and then just flew at me 3 times cutting my head quite badly in about a dozen places. It wasn’t an accident or just touching down to pass over me as she’s done before.. it was an attack. Is this just a one off do you think or something I should now be worried about happening again. I must admit I finished off the cleaning with my bike helmet on.
I’m really happy to care for her for life but can’t have her attacking us.
Can anyone advise me please?
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Old 24-06-2017, 05:12 PM
T0M T0M is offline
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Default Re: Tawny owl attack

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Originally Posted by Alipopple View Post
Hi
Can anyone advise me please?
2 years ago we took in a rescue tawny. She is not imprinted and was rescued as a 10 week old owlet - we offered her a home aged 4 because it was that or euthanasia. she has a 8'x6' shed area and an additional 10'x10' flight area.) I am happy to provide her with everything she needs and am not expecting hand feeding or overconfidence. She has been doing so well since we brought her here and her trust in us seemed to be really good. She even bathes when I am in the aviary but… recently (she is in full moult btw and lost over half of her wing feathers) she has been laying on perches and her nesting box flat with her chest down and her wings outstretched and drooping. She then flies or sits up as normal as soon as she is disturbed for chicks etc.. but today I was cleaning her out and changing her bath. She was laying down in the shed part and then just flew at me 3 times cutting my head quite badly in about a dozen places. It wasn’t an accident or just touching down to pass over me as she’s done before.. it was an attack. Is this just a one off do you think or something I should now be worried about happening again. I must admit I finished off the cleaning with my bike helmet on.
I’m really happy to care for her for life but can’t have her attacking us.
Can anyone advise me please?

Tawny owls can be quite nasty when nesting and especially when have chicks, is there any chance she's got eggs somewhere? Maybe just hormonal.They breed early in the wild though but maybe different in captivity. Can lay without a male. I think I remember some wildlife tv presenter lost an eye to a tawny owl so good idea to keep helmet on or at least safety glasses.

I was always cautious with tawny owls
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Old 24-06-2017, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: Tawny owl attack

Thank you. If it's just that then I'll just be careful from March till July. She is usually such a gentle lovely bird. There are no eggs. Should I give her 'dummy' chicken ones in her nest box?
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Old 24-06-2017, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Tawny owl attack

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Thank you. If it's just that then I'll just be careful from March till July. She is usually such a gentle lovely bird. There are no eggs. Should I give her 'dummy' chicken ones in her nest box?
No it may not be that just an option. I wouldn't bother with eggs, just thought maybe she had laid and was protecting them. I'd suggest taking her to a vet if you can't think of a reason why she might have attacked you. It's hard to get an idea from afar. If not protecting anything then may be in pain. Did the attack happen today or a few days ago during the hot weather. The lying down is a concern. I have a bird that kind of droops his wings through the moult. Did you do anything out of the norm? Wear anything that might have spooked it? It's up to you how comfortable you are with its actions if not 100% that it's not ill then take it to a vet. If eating ok and seems comfortable with lying down and not suffering then be careful and keep an eye on it. You mention it'll get up for chicks. I trust you are feeding her a varied diet and adding vitamins.
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Old 24-06-2017, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Tawny owl attack

Eric Hoskins it was lost his eye
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Old 24-06-2017, 08:48 PM
PaulUsHilarius PaulUsHilarius is offline
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Default Re: Tawny owl attack

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Eric Hoskins it was lost his eye
Eric Hosking. A pioneer of bird photography. Yes, he lost his eye to a Tawny Owl, late evening near the nest as far as I can remember, and he titled his autobiography 'An Eye for a Bird'.
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Old 24-06-2017, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: Tawny owl attack

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Eric Hosking. A pioneer of bird photography. Yes, he lost his eye to a Tawny Owl, late evening near the nest as far as I can remember, and he titled his autobiography 'An Eye for a Bird'.
Thanks Paul, yes that guy

I had Tony Soper going around in my head as a possibility as well but was thinking it was him who'd lost his finger to an otter
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Old 24-06-2017, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: Tawny owl attack

Terry Nutkins lost his fingers to otters. It was the guy I pictured just had them mixed up🙃
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Old 24-06-2017, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Tawny owl attack

Hi Tom

I'm pretty certain she is not unwell. I feed her chicks and mice with calcium and vitamin supplements. She is bathing daily, flying around and seems fit and healthy. Her moult is more extreme than last year and she attacked me today. The laying down and spread wings does look like a bird protecting a nest rather than ill so although she hasn't laid any eggs could she be just broody?. Her appetite is unchanged.
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Old 25-06-2017, 12:42 AM
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Default Re: Tawny owl attack

I think she's probably just hormonal, I wouldn't worry about it too much, obviously you have to be very careful with your eyes. I'm sure it will subside in the coming weeks regards Chris
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