Thursday, 3 March 2011

Eagle Owl Shot in the Forest of Dean!

They might be a native species, but the eagle owl (pictured below) is a rare sight in the UK today. Persecution saw the demise of this bird many years ago, but over the past decade they have started to repopulate areas of the UK, to the dismay of many people and they are once again being targeted!
For over a year, a tame (escaped) eagle owl had been living happily in the Forest of Dean. However, a few days ago he went missing after a local resident heard gunfire and for a few days of not seeing him, they feared the worst!
Luckily a local workman found the owl in the middle of a road on his way to work and managed to catch him by throwing his coat over him. He was taken to a vet where it was discovered that he "had" been shot, through the wing!
He is now being rehabilitated at the International Centre for Birds of Prey and as I know this centre and the owner well, I know he will be looked after well. I just hope he is still able to fly after the wound has healed.

I have said this many times, but persecution is one of the biggest threats to our wildlife today and I for one am totally disgusted that anyone could, or would want to kill such a magnificent animal.
When first discovered over a year ago, this bird had jessies on his legs, which meant that he was once a captive bird. He was loved by the people of the local village and they were gutted when this atrocity happened.
If the person who shot this bird is reading this, I hope you are caught very soon and that you receive the maximum penalty available. Obviously education has not worked with you, so perhaps your punishment will serve as a reminder to others who persecute our wildlife that it is wrong and illegal.

The Eagle Owl



  1. Rob, I hope he is shot with his own gun.
    It is sad but plebs and animals, birds, reptiles do not mix.
    be better to fence the people out.
    Perchance what Cameron et al were intending.
    A fence has never stopped me.....deer fence maybe. Glad the owl is in good hands.

  2. Not condoning the action but the Eagle owl is not a native, there is no evidence (no fossil remains nothing) other than it occasionally visited the UK or there is confusion with leo. eagle owl in the uk are either deliberate releases or escapes. they now breed readily at a number of locations in the UK

  3. Well they may not be native to the uk but nor are fallow deer and boar and foxes and rabbits and carp. they have all been brought in by humans so why cant an eagle own live in the uk?
    I think kites were re intruduced also.

  4. As far as I am concerned, if an animal is capable of entering the UK on its own steam, is deserves the right to be called native after it has become established.
    After all, how did we get here, or are we unique in that sense?

  5. However they didnt get here under there own steam they are from deliberate and illegal releases. Are you unaware of the problems non native creature create across the globe, second to habitat loss the single most important factor in the decline of species world wide is the impact of non native species. and for the benefit of Photomark Foxes and boar are native species, red kites are native and have been re-introduced from relect wild stock in Wales sometimes controversially, the others were introduced for the table and in their own ways distrupt and impact on native ecosystems particularly carp. the point i made was i didnt condon the action but the actions of the species being here in the first place is far greater than the original act. the eagle owl is a strongly territorial owl requiring a large territory. one fascet of it behaviour is that it systematically removes all the competition from its considerable range therefore having an impact on native fauna particularly other raptors, which it will take from their roosts and nests at night. it will take raptors up to kite and buzzard size quite easily.
    Nice photo of the boar by the way

  6. Whether Eagle Owls are native species is controversial. There is limited fossil evidence of post-Ice Age population.
    There is also evidence that Eagle Owls are capable of flying to the UK (although to my knowledge no confirmed arrivals, ie. continental ringed wild birds). There are certainly birds that are neither ringed nor have jessies attached living here now.
    I'd challenge the claim of 'removes all competition from its considerable range'. What evidence is this based on?
    Sadly prejudice (and guns) continue to be a major problem.