How to Handle an Owl




Handling an owl, obviously, is not something that you can or should just go out and do on your own. With that in mind, consider this instructable as a general overview of what you are getting yourself into if you decide to do this with supervision. A good place to do this would be a zoo or a state park that takes in wounded animals. I learned from a ranger at Natchez Trace State Park in Tennessee. Do not attempt to do this with a wild bird, as it may be illegal and endanger you or the animal.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Get Ready

Before handling any bird of prey, make sure you have a set of thick gloves, otherwise their talons can injure you, and the bigger the bird the greater the injury, no matter how careful you are. You should also have a leash with two hooks--one for each ankle--in order to prevent the bird from flying off of your arm.
Make sure to put on the leash before you put on the gloves, so that the leash will be a bit snugger on your wrist.

Step 2: Hook the Owl to the Leash

To hook the owl to the leash, put your gloved arm next to its perch and allow it to climb onto your arm. From there, grip its legs quickly and turn it upside down, attaching a hook to each ankle. Grip the leash close to the hooks and allow the owl to correct itself on your arm.

Step 3: Putting the Owl Back in Its Cage

You've done it! The owl is officially on your arm! To get it off, simply unhook the owl and throw it back in its cage using a soft underhand toss, away from any obstacles.



    • Make It Fly Challenge

      Make It Fly Challenge
    • Stone Concrete and Cement Contest

      Stone Concrete and Cement Contest
    • Indoor Lighting Contest

      Indoor Lighting Contest

    5 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    One thing; no matter how tempting, do not stroke a bird of prey.

    Stroking the feathers messes up their oils. I got very told off for stroking a vulture* I was handling in East Anglia.


    3 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    It was. Years ago, but it was.

    I was feeding the vulture dead chicks, and had to hold them in an almost-closed fist for the bird to peck through the hole made as my index finger curled, because vultures prefer to reach inside their meals to get at the juicy bits.

    (I don't know if the vulture is still there, but it was lazy, and used to run after lures instead of fly.)


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah I went there a couple of years ago, I'm sure they had at least 1 vulture, but the owls were being fed at that time of day. You'd think they could breed their own mice and show visitors some real action, but maybe people like mice alive or dead, not alive-then dead...



    10 years ago on Introduction

    Seeing at this in recent, it did look like the guy in blue was handling a giant owl...