Owls are one of Britain’s favourite birds and although they are wild birds they can sometimes be tempted to peoples garden with the right treats.
If you are wanting to entice more owls to your garden or maybe you already have an owl visitor or one that lives nearby, you need to know what bird food should you feed wild owls?
Will A Wild Owl Visit My Garden?
If you are an avid bird feeder or a home bird watcher, then you are probably hoping that the elusive owl will come and visit your garden. There are over 2000 species of owls in the world, but only a few of them are likely to visit your garden.
The owls that come and visit your garden will vary depending on your region and surroundings. The owl you are most likely to get a visitor from is the barn owl. Barn owls are known for their heart-shaped faces and their white stomachs and are one of the most easily recognisable owls in the UK.
Barns owls need much of the same things other common garden birds need when they visit your garden, like water. Make sure that you leave water out for the owls. There needs to be a lot of water and it needs to be in a big enough space that the owl can easily wash themselves in the water.
If you have a water feature like a pond or a birdbath, make sure that the owl can get to tit and that its path is not obstructed. If you are leaving out a container of water, make sure it is in the same place, If it is just on the ground then it might leave the owl open to attacks, so try and leave the container of water on a roof or platform if possible.
Owls are more likely to visit your garden if you have a safe place for them to stay. Owls like to roost in trees during the day, but they will only do this if they feel safe. To make an owl feel safe, give them access to shelter. Any good-sized mature tree will attract owls, especially if there is a hollow truck or section of the tree for them to nest in.
If you don’t have any trees that are suitable for owls in your garden there are other solutions. You can put up nest boxes for owls which should do the same job a hollowed-out tree would. Make sure you attach the box to a tree or wall, so it is around 10-20ft above the ground. If you are planning on putting up a nesting box for an owl then it’s a good idea to do this around January-February time, to give the owl time throughout the year.
What Bird Food Should You Feed Wild Owls?
Unlike your usual garden bird, an owl will not come and feed at your bird feeder, nor will they eat the same nuts and seeds you leave us for common garden birds.
Owls are part of the raptor family of birds which means they are predators and need to eat meat to survive. Feeding Owls is a lot like feeding any other wild bird of prey. You can buy food for owls, like frozen mice, from most pet shops or you can scatter raw meat like chicken on your garden and owls might swoop down to feed. If they decide they like it in your garden, they might choose to settle down in the area.
Owls are resilient creatures, and they are good hunters, so don’t worry about them not getting enough food. If you notice birds of prey, like owls, starting to attack and eat other smaller birds then they might not have enough food and you might need to start leaving food out for them.
Overall, it is better to leave things as they are and let nature take its course. Owls are perfectly capable of finding their own food and if you start leaving raw meat out in your garden it could attract pests, like rats and foxes, and it can lead to the spread of disease.