08.08.2003 - I got a phone call from a worried homeowner who informed me that she had an owl stuck in her screened-in pool enclosure, or lanai, as we call
them here in Florida. I told her that I'd come out right away, so I did. I arrived, and found a small owl perching on the steel beam, as seen in the upper-left
of the above photo. It was still and sleeping. I have a special heavy-duty canvas net that I use for certain wildlife removal scenarios. I got the net. I
quietly sneaked up on the unsuspecting and sleepy owl. Then, with one swift and smooth swipe of the net, not unlike the one I've honed over my years as a
butterfly capture specialist, I caught the owl! It flapped and hooted, in an attempt to escape the net. It could not escape. I brought it outside, and took
the photo in the lower left. Then the owl walked out of the net, looked around, and flew off into the jungle. The world was safe again. But! For how long?
This is the first time that I've ever dealt with an owl, and I don't expect that I'll have many owl jobs. However, I do hope to have many jobs in which I get a chance to interact with strange new creatures and get the job done quickly, such as in this case. This job was a real hoot.
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An owl is a nocturnal bird, meaning that they prefer to hunt at night. They will hunt for mostly insects and smaller mammals. They will also hunt other birds. They are found throughout the world except for the Antarctica and part of Greenland. They are mostly solitary birds. They have small beaks and big wide faces that are flat. They have large eyes that face forward on their face. The reason for that is because they are able to turn their heads all the way around. This way they can see what is going on around them from all directions without having to move a muscle in their bodies. They generally have tufts of fur coming from their ears. Generally, they will markings on their faces and their heads. They can't see very well at a close distance but they have excellent hearing which makes up for this.
There are different species in the owl family. The absolute smallest is the elf owl and the largest is the great grey owl. They all make different sounds which help them when finding mates or letting each other know a predator is approaching.
When an owl hunts, it likes to sneak up on its prey and surprise it. They will kill its prey with its sharp, hooked beak and talons that are very powerful. They can crush the skulls of their prey with their sharp talons. They can fly without making a sound and their prey will often times not even know what hit them.
An owl will lay between one to thirteen eggs. Their eggs are generally spherical in shape and are white or off-white in color. They don't usually have any markings on the eggs. The female will lay one egg, wait two or three days and then lay another one. There are several species that make their nests in trees and some will make their nests in marshes. They will usually take over the nests of other birds so that they don't have to build their own. The courtship of an owl will involve calling out to their mate and he will also try to offer her some food. They will usually mate for life.
Baby owls are called owlets. They use an egg tooth to help them hatch out of their eggs. The youngest owlets will usually die unless food is plentiful to them. This ensures that only the strongest will survive and it keeps their species strong allowing them to survive. Owlets are blind when they are born and they have a very thin coat of feathers. They will grow a thicker coat over time. They may leave the nest as early as three to four weeks. They are able to breed within about a year of being hatched but some of the larger species may not breed until they are two years old.
An owl is territorial. They will defend their nest and their surrounding feeding area. They will viciously attack an intruder that tries to either steal their food or bring harm to their eggs or young ones.
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Owls are nocturnal birds; they prefer to be out and about at night. They hunt, eat, and carry out most of their activities when the sun is down. They tend to hunt for insects and smaller mammals, while occasionally hunting other birds. Owls are solitary birds and often travel alone. Their features are easily recognizable. They have small beaks, wide flat faces, and large eyes that make them very distinct from other birds of their size. Owls are also able to rotate their heads at a 360-degree angle, allowing them to see everything around them without having to move other body parts with the exception of their heads. Owls are known to have poor vision in close range, however, their acute hearing more than compensates for that. Owls are not often invaders and will normally stay within their habitats. However, in the event that you come across an owl in your home or by the pool, here are some things you can do to get rid of the owl.
Eliminate anything around your house or pool area that may attract any birds including owls. If you have bird feeders in your yard, get rid of it fast! When there is no food within your vicinity, birds, especially owls are most likely to not find their way around your pool area or house in general. Anything that can attract birds should be put away. This can include open foods, attractive smells, or open trashcans, and uncleaned utensils. It is important to keep your surrounding areas clean and sanitary at all times to prevent animals from being attracted.
You can also try scaring owls away. To do this, there are many different options to consider. Keep in mind this will be a trial and error process as owls are typically nonchalant and can continually stare at things that interest them. You can try making noise. Use different noises like alarms, sirens, noisemakers, and other loud and obnoxious noises to annoy the owl. After a while, they will get uncomfortable and eventually leave.
Shine a Light
Another way to annoy an owl or potentially scare them is by using bright lights. Owls are nocturnal and are not very fond of bright lights. They'd much rather be in the dark. For this reason, try shining bright lights directly on the owl. You can try using a portable light, high beams from a vehicle, or even bright porch lights to help deter the owl. Owls can be very stubborn, so try repeating this over the course of a few days. They will eventually give up and leave.
You can attempt to scare owls away by either getting a scarecrow in the area they are occupying or better yet, let your big dogs and cats play around with a strobe light tied around their necks. The loud noise from the pets playing, coupled with the strobe light will scare and also confuse the owl, forcing them to leave the premises.