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Owls have been known to live anywhere from humid swamps to the icy forests of northern Canada. Most live in trees, but some steal burrows in the ground which were made by other animals such as rabbits. Thus, the best owl habitat may be difficult to define. The only common factor in all habitats is the need for food supply. Owls like to live where there is abundant food for them.
Most owls tend to eat small animals such as rodents, baby mammals, and even smaller birds. The best owl habitat would provide various types of food such as these animals for the owl to hunt down. This means that the perfect space for an owl to live in is actually one that is perfect for its prey. Tall grasses are ideal for burrowing animals, while certain trees are best for squirrels and certain mice.
It is best if an owl habitat remains as untouched by man as possible. Not only are owls rather unsociable creatures who prefer to be left alone, but human interference can also kill or scare away large portions of their prey. Once the food supply is gone, the owl population will have to move on or die. Maintenance of the habitat may be required from time to time, especially within bird preserves or other controlled lands, but those maintaining the land should be sure not to destroy it.
An owl which is caged, either for life or simply while it recovers from injury or illness, still desires the same kind of habitat it had in the wild. Cages should be large and mimic the natural landscape where the owl would be in the wild to maintain a happy life for the bird. If possible, live or freshly killed food should be given to the owl. Live prey is especially important to owls which were not born in captivity, as they may not adapt to food which is already dead very well.
Knowing the particular balance of diet and routine in a certain type of owl can help people learn how to build or maintain the best owl habitat. These two factors are very important to an owl’s well-being and can easily be upset by outside interference. Those interested in maintaining or restoring owl population through habitat would benefit from taking the time to research that particular owl population, how it lives, what it eats, and how they can begin to “build” the right place for owls to thrive.
I enjoy bird watching, but also understand the needs of birds like owls to be left alone. To watch the owls on my property in their natural habitats, I keep a clear distance and use binoculars. This is a great way to observe these majestic creatures without hindering their comfort.
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