Pet barn owl goes missing in Farnworth

Andrew Ridyard's missing barn owl

Andrew Ridyard with his pet barn owl

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A BIRD-LOVER is appealing for help to find his missing pet owl.

Andrew Ridyard was flying his feathered friend in his garden in Moorside Avenue, Farnworth, last Wednesday when a loud noise from a nearby garden spooked the owl — and it flew off.

Now the 28-year-old is growing increasingly concerned for the wellbeing of the female barn owl which has failed to return home.

He said: “I’m devastated that she has gone — she is 14 months old and I have had her since she was young, I used to feed her by hand.”

Mr Ridyard, a bird enthusiast, keeps a number of different species in aviaries in his garden including cockatiels, finches and canaries.

He said he has been encouraged that his missing owl will not have flown too far from the nest after consulting a bird expert.

Mr Ridyard added: “I spoke to someone who knows birds very well and he told me that by their nature barn owls don’t tend to travel too far away from home, so I am hoping that is the case and she might be in a neighbour’s garden or somewhere else close.”

The owl, who does not currently have a name, is described as white with black spots on her front and brown on her back — she will be wearing brown anklets with red and black jesses or straps hanging from them.

Mr Ridyard said: “I would just ask anyone who has seen it to let me know and I will be extremely grateful for any information that comes forward.”

Anyone who thinks they may have spotted the owl can contact the Bolton News Newsdesk on 01204 537271 or by emailing newsdesk@theboltonnews.co.uk.

FACTS ABOUT BARN OWLS

  • The Barn owl is one of the most common breed of owls.
  • It is a pale, long-winged, long-legged owl with a short squarish tail.
  • It measures about 25–50 cm in length, with a wingspan of 75–110 cm.
  • Barn owls are nocturnal and become active at dusk.
  • It hunts by flying low and slowly over an area of open ground, hovering over spots that conceal potential prey. They may also use fence posts or other lookouts to ambush prey and feeds primarily on rodents.
  • In the UK there are about 5,000 breeding pairs of Barn owls, with between 12,500 and 25,000 birds spending the winter months here.
  • There is a £5,000 fine for killing or injuring a barn owl, catching a barn owl, taking or destroying any egg of a barn owl, damaging or destroying the active nest site with eggs or young or before eggs are laid, disturbing the dependent young of a barn owl, possessing or offering for sale or selling a barn owl.
  • The law does not require captive Barn owls to be registered.

Comments (14)

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4:00pm Wed 28 May 14

Gore Seer says...

I Was Once Given A Very Young Owl, I Hand Fed It, Till It Was Ready To Be Let Loose, I Took It To A Nearby Field And Let It Into The Wild, A Day Latter My Next Door Neighbour Came And Told Me To Come To Her Kitchen The Owl Had Flown Into Her Kitchen Thinking It Was My House, I Kept The Owl In A Box In My Living Room Window I Let It Go Again It Never Came Back, So I Would Say It Is A Good Homing Bird, But If It Finds A Mate Then It Would Possibly Go With The Male ,Or Go Home.
I Was Once Given A Very Young Owl, I Hand Fed It, Till It Was Ready To Be Let Loose, I Took It To A Nearby Field And Let It Into The Wild, A Day Latter My Next Door Neighbour Came And Told Me To Come To Her Kitchen The Owl Had Flown Into Her Kitchen Thinking It Was My House, I Kept The Owl In A Box In My Living Room Window I Let It Go Again It Never Came Back, So I Would Say It Is A Good Homing Bird, But If It Finds A Mate Then It Would Possibly Go With The Male ,Or Go Home. Gore Seer
  • Score: -2

4:25pm Wed 28 May 14

allan111111 says...

Most things that go missing in farnworth are usually stolen
Most things that go missing in farnworth are usually stolen allan111111
  • Score: 5

8:35pm Wed 28 May 14

dougie kay says...

facts about Owls , Barn owls are a NOT common species, actually its number is in rapid decline not only in this country, but through out europe
facts about Owls , Barn owls are a NOT common species, actually its number is in rapid decline not only in this country, but through out europe dougie kay
  • Score: 2

8:42pm Wed 28 May 14

Gore Seer says...

I Live Near Seven Acres, I Have My Window Open And A Owl Hoots Virtually Ever Night. Its A Lovely Sound.
I Live Near Seven Acres, I Have My Window Open And A Owl Hoots Virtually Ever Night. Its A Lovely Sound. Gore Seer
  • Score: 2

1:01am Thu 29 May 14

andy.r says...

Im the owner of this owl she has Recently been seen tonight 28-5-14 near Vernon street bottom of chorley old road if any one sees her or comes across her try and get her she is tame and please ring RSPCA . Thanks.
Im the owner of this owl she has Recently been seen tonight 28-5-14 near Vernon street bottom of chorley old road if any one sees her or comes across her try and get her she is tame and please ring RSPCA . Thanks. andy.r
  • Score: 3

2:08am Thu 29 May 14

wsw69 says...

Here is to a successful return to it's owner.
Here is to a successful return to it's owner. wsw69
  • Score: 3

7:29am Thu 29 May 14

Lever-Ender says...

What is the most popular owl in Britain ?

It's a teet.....

I'll get mi coat.....
What is the most popular owl in Britain ? It's a teet..... I'll get mi coat..... Lever-Ender
  • Score: 1

9:13am Thu 29 May 14

Gore Seer says...

andy.r wrote:
Im the owner of this owl she has Recently been seen tonight 28-5-14 near Vernon street bottom of chorley old road if any one sees her or comes across her try and get her she is tame and please ring RSPCA . Thanks.
My Be Worth A Look On Queens Park, Or The Valley,
[quote][p][bold]andy.r[/bold] wrote: Im the owner of this owl she has Recently been seen tonight 28-5-14 near Vernon street bottom of chorley old road if any one sees her or comes across her try and get her she is tame and please ring RSPCA . Thanks.[/p][/quote]My Be Worth A Look On Queens Park, Or The Valley, Gore Seer
  • Score: 1

10:12am Thu 29 May 14

NHLUFC says...

If this was a "bird lover" they wouldn't be keeping such an unsuitable wild bird as a pet.
If this was a "bird lover" they wouldn't be keeping such an unsuitable wild bird as a pet. NHLUFC
  • Score: 2

12:56pm Thu 29 May 14

Bolton Lad 85 says...

It is cruel to keep an intelligent animal in Farnworth. Most residents are fine with their IQ's but a beautiful intelligent creature like an owl should not suffer this indignity.
It is cruel to keep an intelligent animal in Farnworth. Most residents are fine with their IQ's but a beautiful intelligent creature like an owl should not suffer this indignity. Bolton Lad 85
  • Score: 1

9:51am Fri 30 May 14

Gore Seer says...

I Feel For The Owner Of This Bird, Its Been Missing To Long It May Starve, Lets Hope Nature Steps In, And It Starts To Fend For Its Self, I Hope I Am Not Trolling.
I Feel For The Owner Of This Bird, Its Been Missing To Long It May Starve, Lets Hope Nature Steps In, And It Starts To Fend For Its Self, I Hope I Am Not Trolling. Gore Seer
  • Score: 0

9:40am Sun 1 Jun 14

Boltonresident2012 says...

Gore Seer wrote:
I Was Once Given A Very Young Owl, I Hand Fed It, Till It Was Ready To Be Let Loose, I Took It To A Nearby Field And Let It Into The Wild, A Day Latter My Next Door Neighbour Came And Told Me To Come To Her Kitchen The Owl Had Flown Into Her Kitchen Thinking It Was My House, I Kept The Owl In A Box In My Living Room Window I Let It Go Again It Never Came Back, So I Would Say It Is A Good Homing Bird, But If It Finds A Mate Then It Would Possibly Go With The Male ,Or Go Home.
interesting, but difficult to read with All The Capital Letters.
[quote][p][bold]Gore Seer[/bold] wrote: I Was Once Given A Very Young Owl, I Hand Fed It, Till It Was Ready To Be Let Loose, I Took It To A Nearby Field And Let It Into The Wild, A Day Latter My Next Door Neighbour Came And Told Me To Come To Her Kitchen The Owl Had Flown Into Her Kitchen Thinking It Was My House, I Kept The Owl In A Box In My Living Room Window I Let It Go Again It Never Came Back, So I Would Say It Is A Good Homing Bird, But If It Finds A Mate Then It Would Possibly Go With The Male ,Or Go Home.[/p][/quote]interesting, but difficult to read with All The Capital Letters. Boltonresident2012
  • Score: 0

10:47am Sun 1 Jun 14

andy.r says...

Hi just to let everyone know the owl as been returned and is back home safe and sound!
Hi just to let everyone know the owl as been returned and is back home safe and sound! andy.r
  • Score: 1

6:52pm Sun 1 Jun 14

Boltonresident2012 says...

andy.r wrote:
Hi just to let everyone know the owl as been returned and is back home safe and sound!
Great news, glad it ended well for you :)
[quote][p][bold]andy.r[/bold] wrote: Hi just to let everyone know the owl as been returned and is back home safe and sound![/p][/quote]Great news, glad it ended well for you :) Boltonresident2012
  • Score: 1

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