I think that showing an owl is a lot of work. Oh so rewarding, but a lot of work. Over the past 24 hours, I’ve spent nearly 10 hours with one on my hand, so–while I’m not an expert–I’ve at least got a clue.
Bringing one to a show involves preparing them for the experience.
They have to be fed appropriately. Not “filled up,” but not hungry enough to be ornery.
Their anklets need to be checked for comfort and security, and their jesses need to be inspected as well. The equipment cannot fail.
Their jesses must have a swivel attached; that, too, needs to be checked for security.
A leash is attached to the swivel, typically before transporting the bird. Once on site, the owl must be secure.
(Keeping the owl secure is a really big deal.)
Food, normally in the form of mice, must be thawed and packaged for the day.
The owl is placed in its travel cage. It’s not uncommon for these to look exactly like a large dog crate covered with a fabric drape.
As it leaves the cage, the leash is secured by passing it and the jesses between the thumb and forefinger of your gloved hand from the back, across the palm, and back out between the middle and ring fingers. The leash is wrapped several times around the first two fingers. In addition to the leash, the swivel is clipped to a strap attached to the glove.
The owl is held with a roughly horizontal hand. He or she will adjust position until comfortable.
That’s it–that’s all there is to it.
Thanks, Max, for a great few days. You were a champ!
Max is a male Eurasian eagle owl.