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Rodney is one of my barn owls.

On the 20th June 2012, work was going as usual. I had a group of clients that I was looking after, and part of their experience day was to watch one of our shows.

The show was going well, nothing different in particular - three of the staff were all ready to send out the Harris Hawks which were the next set of birds in the demonstration.
All of a sudden, the boss popped around the corner with a large cat carrier in her hand.

"I know the three of you are busy... but I've got you all a present! Something different for you to train!"

And in this cat carrier... were three of some of the strangest birds you would ever have seen! :lol:
A trio of baby barn owls. Two females, one male.

My boss had purchased them from a captive breeding centre - at that time, many of our working barn owls were very old. Most in their teens, some nearing their twenties. As such, some of these birds would be retiring soon, and we needed some new barn owls for our flying and education team. So, babies!

We were told they all had to be named after characters from 'Only Fools and Horses'. So his sisters were named Raquel and Marlene, and...well, my plonker just suited the name Rodney.
And a plonker he really is.

Rodney has lots of little quirks.
He won't fly to really young children. He sulks when you take him to fly at schools. He has NO idea how to fly in wind. He refuses to eat mice if they are not white in colour.
He doesn't like dogs. Or cats. Or anything on wheels.
He flies around the centre specifically to find the barn door which, when opened, contains all the food.
But when he enters this room, he suddenly becomes lost and confused. Doesn't know what to do with this magical room of food. Even found him sitting on the fridge once.

He's such an idiot. But he's my idiot.

And I love the little squishy lad far too much than I often care to admit. :heart:

Rodney @ 3 Weeks by bladebandit Rodney 1 by bladebandit Rodney 2 by bladebandit


I should add a note: Owls do not make good pets! They should not be kept as pets!
I work at a bird of prey centre - Rodney lives there.
I love him very much, but he is not my 'pet'. He is one of my many winged-colleagues!


Some of my other Owl related artwork:

Look Ma! by bladebandit  Gizmo by bladebandit Lenny by bladebandit

:bulletpurple: :bulletpurple: :bulletpurple: :bulletpurple: :bulletpurple:

Artwork done in pencil on A4 paper.

Follow me on Tumblr!

Artwork © bladebandit
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© 2015 - 2021 Bandarai
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Gamma-Wings's avatar
Ooh this looks very nice. ^^ What a great looking barn owl. :D
Bandarai's avatar
Thank you! He sure is a pretty lad. :D
suzidragonlady's avatar
I really like how soft this looks, so fluffy. Really nice work. :)
Barn owls are just awesome.
Bandarai's avatar
Thanks ever so much, I'm glad you think so! :D

Oh I agree. Love barn owls ;-;
CrystalMajestica's avatar
Wow! Very beautiful. :heart:
Bandarai's avatar
Thanks very much! :D
bigbulbasaurs's avatar
Fantastic! The light glinting off the eye is truly perfect, I'd know since i'm an assistant Saw-whet Owl bander. The detail and dimension is perfect. 
Tsukichan2622's avatar
Very beautiful and detailed,great work!
Bandarai's avatar
Thank you heaps c:
MoonsongWolf's avatar
Beautiful work! Love the mischievous glint in his eye. :D

And it's really awesome to read about your experiences working with these incredible creatures. I'm just in love with that photo of Rodney landing. What a magnificent creature. :heart:
Bandarai's avatar
Thanks lovely! :heart:

Aww I'm glad you think so. I really love sharing stories about my animals, just as much as I love reading about other animals that people keep. It's sharing those stories that keep memories alive <3
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