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Finally caught the mystery 'beast'

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Cara, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    I'd been losing birds for weeks in one of my inside coops. I couldn't figure out what it was though, since the coop is a partitioned area of a new barn. The floor is concrete, the walls are tin on three sides, the other side is 10'+ tall. Some birds would have their wings ripped off, some were missing toes, some would completely disappear and others were headless. All of the parts were always inside the coop.

    We put some bird netting across the doorway to the barn, but they were still getting killed. I moved all of my birds out of there, and one day noticed a new pile of feathers inside, from a dove. We figured it had to be some kind of bird of prey, as it would be difficult for anything else to catch a dove in there.

    Last week my husband came home to tell me the beast had been captured, and wasn't too pleased about it. This is what we found:



    He is a Great Horned Owl. In that instant I forgave him for killing 15+ of my birds and messing up my breeding program. He was just so beautiful, and didn't even look real. He was almost 2 feet tall. We untangled him, put him in a dog crate and drove him 10 miles to another part of the ranch to release him. Hopefully he won't be back, but my coop needs securing anyway. Even if he had died, another one could easily come along. He's just doing what comes naturally, and is good at it. There's no sense in hunting when he has his dinner laid out in front of him.

  2. [​IMG] SO AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL! I think I would have to forgive him too... and then try and keep him~

    Thank you for the photos!
  3. Zola

    Zola In the Brooder

    Dec 15, 2008
    I'm so sorry you lost your chickens, but oh, he's beautiful!
  4. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Songster

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    I am so sorry for the loss of your chickens:hit

    However, I am very proud that you took the high road and let the Great Horned Owl go. He is really beautiful!!

    Hopefully you will be able to secure your chickens so that they are no longer at risk!!

  5. m00res

    m00res Songster

    Oct 25, 2008
    San Diego
    Wow! He is beautiful! I'm sorry about your babies.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  6. What a gorgeous creature! Hope he doesn't find his way back, and that you are able to secure your coops and pens against future attacks.

    Very nice of you to give the critter a reprieve. He looks so confabulated all tangled up in that netting, poor guy.
  7. Jena

    Jena The Welsh Witch

    Nov 2, 2008
    He is amazing isn't he?

    Awesome, Glad you have found the cause of your loses, not sure if you have cured it though.

    I don't know, but I understood owls were territorial, so he may find his way back, but as you hae said you do need to do more to secure your birds just in case.

    Good luck and thank you so much for the pics, he is magic.

  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member


    That's one pretty bird. LOVE those eyes.

    Sounds like reinforcements are needed to keep the peace between the birds and the wild.
  9. andorraclaim

    andorraclaim Songster

    Nov 28, 2008
    East Austin, Texas
    Thank you for releasing her (based on it's mass size), Owls are - by far - at the cusp of the ecosystem.
  10. danischi24

    danischi24 Loves naked pets 9 Years

    Aug 17, 2008
    Sorry about your birds but how lovely! She doesn't look entirely impressed with the net episode. We have a very similar owl that commonly falls out of nests. My neighbor raised one & a friend raised & now breeds many.

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