Live Video of Rusty & Iris
Meet Rusty and Iris, two Great Horned Owls who can't live in the wild but CAN breed in captivity to help us learn more about the vocalizations of their species. Rusty was hit by a car and is blind in his right eye, and Iris's right eye was punctured, leaving her blind in her right eye also. They are still wild owls and need their privacy to breed, so they are housed on private property in rural Houston. But this video stream allows you to share their lives from anywhere in the world.
Click here to see a general diagram of the cage layout.
You can make a tax-deductible contribution to help support this project. We will add a pan/tilt/zoom camera to the flight pen when we've raised the necessary $2,000. Donations are also need for occasional structural modifications, veterinary bills, owl food, insurance, technology, streaming and more. You can contribute to this project using the PayPal Donate button below. A PayPal account is not required--you can also make a donation using a credit card through the PayPal link. Or you can mail a check (please indicate it's for the Great Horned Owl breeding project) to:
International Owl Center
PO Box 536
Houston, MN 55943
Visit Alice's blog to see a full listing of all project donors and volunteers.
WHY ARE THESE OWLS IN CAPTIVITY?
Rusty and Iris cannot live in the wild because they are both blind in one eye. They are held under permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as part of a research project to study their vocalizations. This captive breeding situation will help:
• Document the complete vocal repertoire of the Great Horned Owl and associated behaviors
• Track the development of the territorial hoot in young owls
• Determine the stability of the territorial hoot of individual owls over time
• Determine if there are inherited territorial hoot characteristics
This research will help future Great Horned Owl researchers understand their study subjects much better and may lessen the need to capture and mark owls to identify individuals.
More background information here.
Thank you for your support and interest!
Owl Observation Submission