Legal Advice: Owning an Owl in Georgia

Curious about the legalities of owning an owl in Georgia? Check out these commonly asked questions:

Question Answer
Is legal own owl pet Georgia? Believe illegal own owl pet Georgia. Owning any wild bird as a pet is strictly prohibited under Georgia law. The only individuals allowed to keep owls are those with specific permits for educational or rehabilitation purposes.
What are the potential consequences of owning an owl without the proper permits? If caught, individuals in possession of an owl without the necessary permits could face hefty fines and potential imprisonment. The state takes wildlife conservation laws seriously, and violating them can result in severe penalties.
Are there any exceptions to the laws regarding owl ownership in Georgia? While there are no blanket exceptions for owning owls as pets, individuals can work with licensed wildlife rehabilitators and educators to handle and care for owls under specific circumstances. However, this typically requires proper training and certification.
Can I legally rescue and rehabilitate an injured owl on my own? It is not legal for unlicensed individuals to take owls from the wild for rehabilitation purposes. Instead, it is best to contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator who can provide the necessary care and expertise to help the injured owl.
What steps should I take if I find an injured owl in Georgia? If you come across an injured owl, it is essential to contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or animal control agency immediately. These professionals have the expertise and legal authority to care for the owl in accordance with state regulations.
Are there any permits available for owning an owl in Georgia? Yes, there are permits available for individuals who wish to keep owls for educational or rehabilitative purposes. However, obtaining these permits requires meeting specific criteria and demonstrating a commitment to the welfare and conservation of these birds.
What are the guidelines for obtaining a permit to own an owl in Georgia? Individuals interested in obtaining a permit for owl ownership must typically undergo training, obtain proper facilities for housing the owl, and demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of owl care and conservation. The permit application process is thorough and aims to ensure the well-being of the owls.
Can I adopt an owl from a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in Georgia? While adopting an owl from a licensed wildlife rehabilitator is possible under certain circumstances, it is essential to follow the proper legal procedures and obtain the necessary permits for ownership. Working with reputable professionals is crucial to ensure compliance with state laws.
What are the primary reasons behind the strict laws regarding owl ownership in Georgia? Georgia`s laws concerning owl ownership stem from a commitment to wildlife conservation and protection. Owls, as valuable members of the ecosystem, require specialized care and attention, which is best provided by trained professionals and organizations dedicated to their well-being.
Where can I find more information about owl ownership laws in Georgia? For detailed information about owl ownership laws and permits in Georgia, it is best to consult the state`s Department of Natural Resources or wildlife conservation agencies. These resources can provide comprehensive guidance on navigating the legal aspects of owl ownership.

Is it Legal to Own an Owl in Georgia?

As a nature enthusiast and animal lover, I have always been fascinated by the idea of owning an owl. These majestic birds of prey have a certain allure and mystery that is hard to resist. However, when it comes to owning an owl in Georgia, there are certain legal considerations that need to be taken into account.

Legal Status of Owls in Georgia

In Georgia, it is illegal to possess native wildlife without the proper permits and licenses. This includes owls, as they are considered native wildlife. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources regulates the possession of native wildlife, including owls, and it is important to obtain the necessary permits and licenses before attempting to own one.

Table 1: Types Owls Found Georgia

Owl Species Common Name
Bubo virginianus Great Horned Owl
Tyto alba Barn Owl
Bubo scandiacus Snowy Owl

As you can see, Georgia is home to a diverse range of owl species, making it a haven for owl enthusiasts. However, it is important to remember that these birds are protected by state and federal laws, and their ownership is regulated to ensure their well-being and conservation.

Consequences of Owning an Owl Illegally

Unlawful possession of native wildlife, including owls, can result in severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment. Additionally, owning an owl without the proper permits can lead to the confiscation of the bird and potential harm to its well-being.

Case Study: Illegal Owl Ownership

In 2019, a Georgia resident was found to be in possession of a barred owl without the necessary permits. The individual was fined $5,000 and the owl was confiscated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. This case serves stark reminder Consequences of Owning an Owl Illegally Georgia.

Alternative Ways to Support Owls in Georgia

While owning an owl may not be feasible or legal for most individuals, there are alternative ways to support these magnificent birds in Georgia. Consider volunteering with local wildlife rehabilitation centers or donating to organizations dedicated to owl conservation. By taking these actions, you can make a positive impact on owl populations in Georgia without running afoul of the law.

Statistics: Owl Conservation Efforts Georgia

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, there are over 100 active wildlife rehabilitation centers in the state that work to rescue and rehabilitate injured and orphaned owls. These centers rely on the support of volunteers and donors to carry out their vital work.

While the allure of owning an owl may be strong, it is important to respect and abide by the laws and regulations in place to protect these birds and their habitats. By supporting owl conservation efforts and respecting their status as native wildlife, we can ensure that these majestic creatures continue to thrive in Georgia for generations to come.



This legal contract serves to address the question of whether it is legal to own an owl in the state of Georgia. The contract outlines the legal framework and regulations pertaining to the ownership of owls, as well as the rights and responsibilities of individuals seeking to possess an owl as a pet or for any other purpose within the state. This contract is intended to provide clear guidance and compliance with the relevant laws and statutes governing the ownership of owls in Georgia.


Clause Description
1. Legal Ownership of Owls in Georgia
1.1 In accordance with Georgia law [Title 27 – Game and Fish], it is illegal to possess, capture, or own any species of owl without a valid permit issued by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
1.2 Under the Georgia Wildlife Act, owls are classified as protected wildlife, and their possession without proper authorization is subject to criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment.
2. Permit Requirements
2.1 Individuals seeking to own and possess an owl in Georgia must apply for a permit from the DNR, providing details of the intended purpose for owl ownership and demonstrating compliance with the regulations set forth by the agency.
2.2 Permit applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the welfare and conservation of owls, as well as the qualifications and capacity of the applicant to care for and handle owls in a manner consistent with ethical and legal standards.
3. Responsibilities of Owl Owners
3.1 Owl owners must adhere to the conditions and restrictions specified in the permit issued by the DNR, including proper housing, feeding, and medical care for the owl, as well as compliance with reporting and inspection requirements as deemed necessary by the agency.
3.2 Failure to comply with the terms of the permit or violations of the laws governing owl ownership may result in the revocation of the permit, confiscation of the owl, and legal consequences as stipulated by Georgia statutes and regulations.