Friday night I saw an owl in the Boston Common. It dove into a trash can in an attempt to swoop up a rat that had just crawled in. When it failed to catch said rat, it perched on a nearby tree. And stared. Creepily.
Which led me to think about the whole birds-as-pets thing. If you ask me, it's a little weird. You can't really pet them and cuddling is definitely out of the question. They make loud, scary sounds. And many of them are vegetarians, which I just can't condone. You can't trust vegetarians.
A few months ago, a friend of mine told me over gchat that he had considered getting a pet owl. And he learned that owls apparently make hilariously bad pets. The conversation we had is posted below, for your entertainment and owl education. His name has been changed, mainly because I didn't have time to ask him if I could use it.
Justin: I tried to get a pet owl so illegal apparently
you have to have a "falconry" license
me: oh my god, I can't think of a worse pet idea for you
10:31 AM Justin: yeah, apparently there are so many things wrong with that idea
but I thought it'd be pretty badass
but among the list of things wrong with that idea
they live for like 50 years
me: oh god
10:32 AM Justin: and they're exceptionally human imprinted when they get a "keeper"
like they'll just destroy shit every time you leave
and if you try to let them go, they'll just sit at your window hooting and clawing shit until they die unless you let them back in
but they don't like to be petted
they just want to know you care
AND they need whole live animals
10:33 AM but whole
but they don't eat stomachs or internal organs
so you have to remove them
because if you don't, they hide them because they don't want to make a mess
and then you'd find it like a week later
10:34 AM oh, and also, they stay up all fucking night long hooting during mating season
which is 9 months out of the year!
so, let's just say, thank god they didn't let me have the owl
well actually, I didn't even find an owl, I was just scoping it out
10:35 AM can you imagine that though? how abstractly awesome would it be? "ok guys, I have to go home and slaughter a rabbit for my owl"
You need to either be a licensed "owl rehabilitation center", or have your falconry licenses even though they apparently make for terrible falconry birds, or have an educational facility that the owl is used for to teach classes
and even then, the Owl Society, or whatever reserves the right to recall your owl at any time for any reason
me: this is so fascinating
10:43 AM Justin: like, if you can't prove that your owl has been meeting it's minimum hours of lessons per month
or if they just decide that after 30 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of dead animals and ruined furniture and you're dying old and alone except for your owl that they want to put it in a zoo
10:44 AM I really want one again
or a giant sea turtle