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.
Follow the travels of Pandora, Patrick, and Patience. BELOW
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You can make a tax-deductible contribution to help support this project. Donations from cam viewers have helped purchase two pan/tilt/zoom cams ($2,000 each), covered Rusty's eye surgery ($1,500), paid for the live rats for the owlets, cover the monthly internet fees, and more. Donations are always needed for occasional structural modifications, veterinary bills, owl food, insurance, technology, streaming and more. You can contribute to the success of 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!
Follow the travels of Pandora, Patrick, and Patience.
View Pandora, Patrick and Patience Locations in a larger map
This map is provided so that you may share in the adventures of the owls as they seek out their own lives. Please be respectful of the owls and the residents of the area and do not try to visit the owls. They will fare better in the wild if left to their own devices without being flushed by humans. Thank you for your consideration.