Tel: 0771 1883072
 Tel: 0771 1883072

HELP! I've found a baby owl, what shall I do?

THERE ARE MANY SPECIES OF OWL... but the most common ones to arrive at the Wildlife Orphanage are:-


Tawny Owl, 

Barn Owl and

Little Owl


Tawny owlets leave the nest before they can fly to become BRANCHERS.


Sometimes, they take a tumble and end up on the ground.  People can mistake them for orphans when in fact they are quite capable of climbing back up the tree to their branch.  Use common sense and do not remove a Tawny unnecessarily.



1.  Warm the baby owl up prior to feeding.  NEVER feed a cold baby owl


2.  Day old hatchery chicks can be fed to bird of prey babies.  Removing the head and feet and the yolk sak.


3.  Chop the muscle and internal organs up into small pieces and feed using tweezers.   The pieces of meat can be dipped into a rehydration fluid of water, a pinch of salt and sugar.


4.  Mice and day old chicks can be purchased from Pet Stores and specialist reptile shops.

Baby barn owl cuddles up with toy baby owl!



1.  Feed a baby owl bread and milk.  YES ! some people think that bread and milk can be fed to baby birds and animals.  PLEASE DON'T DO IT !


2.  Overburden the system of a bird which has gone into starvation mode.  Feed little by little, dipping small pieces of day old chick in a rehydration solution.


3.  Try and hand rear a baby owl yourself.  Do the right thing and hand it over to a Wildlife Rescue.  As the baby develops, it will need a flight aviary and a number of important procedures need to be followed leading up to its final release.


4.  Keep the baby owl in a noisy room.   Television, barking dogs, screaming children are noises which cause stress and are NOT conducive to the welfare of the owl.

Tawny owlets are easily recognisable as their eyes  have red rims. 


Little Owls are exactly that - little!  They have huge yellow eyes and sometimes display a grumpy face.


Little owl chicks should not be out of the nest and if found alone and in the middle of nowhere, may have been predated.


As with all wildlife babies, warmth is the main priority.  This can be difficult if you are in a forest.  However a bit of improvision down the front of a jumper can do the trick until a more suitable source of heat can be found.  


Before feeding any animal or bird, it must be warmed up first. If the owl has been starving, over burdening its system with food can be fatal.


As with other birds of prey, Little owls can be fed defrosted day old chicks, cut into small pieces, removing the head, legs and yolk sak.

Little Owls are very small but have huge yellow eyes




Unlike tawny owls who leave the nest to become branchers, baby barn owls should not be out of their nest box.  There are rules regarding barn owls and its always best to check with the RSPCA or Natural England to get up to date information on what you can and can't do with a barn owl chick.


If you do find a baby barn owl, totally alone and miles from any trees or barns, etc, then it may have been predated and dropped.


Please keep the baby warm.  Cold kills very quickly.  Even holding it in a closed fist will give it some warmth.


The baby barn owl should be fed little by little in order that its system is not overburdened.  This is especially important if the bird has been starving and is emaciated.  Tiny pieces of chopped day old chick (muscle and intestines only) can be fed to the youngster. This meat should be dipped in a rehydration solution of warm water, plus a tiny pinch of salt and sugar.


What quantities you feed to the owl will be very dependent on its age.   If the owl is older it will need the feather and the bone. 


Contact a wildlife rescue asap but in the meantime keep the baby owl warm, keep it safe, and keep it somewhere quiet.  Noise is very stressful to wild animals.




Adult barn owl
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The Wildlife Orphanage, located off the A19 between Selby and York, is a small wildlife rescue specialising in the care of young wild animals and birds.

APRIL 2017 

On the 1st April, a female hedgehog was admitted with lacerations and a broken leg. These were caused by a dog attack. The leg had to be amputated 


October News


Baby Pixie arrived weighing only 100g and has numerous problems
Pixie has to have Imaverol baths to clear his skin
Pixie is suffering from mites & ringworm and is in a bad way for such a tiny hedgehog

The Wildlife Orphanage has had an influx of small hedgehogs over the last few weeks.  These are the Autumn Juveniles, born late in the year.  They are often seen out in daytime and looking a bit wobbly.  Please act quickly if you see one as they go downhill rapidly. 


With winter just around the corner, these little hogs will be just too light for hibernation.  They need to put on lots of weight to see them through the winter.


If you see a tiny hedgehog roaming about, often in daylight,

Please ring 0771 1883072 for advice.