There are many species of owls. Each has its
own pattern for how long they live. The
record-holder in North America is the Great Horned
Owl. One lived 29 years! Even 15 years is
very old for an owl.
How do biologist know the ages of owls and
how long they can live?. One way is to get a
very young owl and raise it in captivity.
But a captive owl can be protected from diseases,
predators, and most accidents. It can be carefully
fed the right type and amount of food. A wild
owl has a lot more dangers.
Another way is to capture a bird when it is
young and tag it with its own number.
Researchers can attach a small, light, band to a
bird’s ankle. They then register the number. When
the bird is caught again, or when it is found
dead, they can look up the number on the tag.
These days, owls can even have an
electronic tag placed just under the skin.
A special reader can identify the animal. This
technology is the same kind used to tag pets.
What do you think is the most dangerous time
in the life of an owl? When it is just hatched?
When it starts to fly? When it sets up its own
territory? When it raises its own offspring?
These are questions that population ecologists
ask. Maybe you want to be a population
Thanks for asking,