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Owls have attracted attention from the dawn of time because of their compelling eyes, utterly silent flight, and ability to hunt at night thanks to their keen hearing. In recent years, the Harry Potter series, which featured a charismatic trained Snowy Owl in an important role, captured the imagination of many.

However, the owls offer several challenges which make them poor choices for inexperienced or uninformed bird owners. They must feed on whole prey items, which makes their diet expensive and their droppings or pellets somewhat messy. Many species are nocturnal or mostly nocturnal, which means that these pets come across as lazy birds that rarely interact with their owners.

In many nations today, you are not allowed to simply decide to buy an owl, at least not a native species, because their possession is strictly regulated. Know what you're doing before you choose to purchase an owl for your aviary.