About Us

Folkestone Owl Rescue Sanctuary first started in 1989, when Brian visited a friend's house and met a barn owl his friend was currently homing. After this first fatal meeting Brian knew that building a sanctuary is what he wanted to do.

Year by year the sanctuary has come from strength to strength and now has space for up to 50 birds of prey at any one time. The sanctuary has a dedicated team of keepers, handlers and cleaners that ensure Folkestone Owl Rescue runs smoothly and efficiently.


Here is some questions we frequently get asked at the sanctuary:

Q: What do owls eat?
A: Depending on their size, owls eat anything from insects to rabbits and hares, but mostly mice, voles and shrews.

Q: Aren't they thirsty?
A: Owls don't normally drink water - they take the blood from their prey instead. However they have to keep clean - this is problematic for owls as they cannot easily tell the depth of water, and owls often drown as their feathers are not oiled.

Q: Why are they panting?
A: Owls don't perspire, so they use this method to cool down when very hot or under stress.

Q: Will they bite me?
A: Owls don't have teeth, but their beaks are quite sharp and used to tear up their food. However, the talons are the most dangerous, and used to catch their prey.

Q: Do owls talk?
A: Owls have their own language and use it to communicate with each other or to ward off an attack from a predator.

Q: Can owls turn their heads right round?
A: Owls have an excellent vision, but their eyes are fixed in their sockets so they must turn their heads to alter their view. They have the ability to turn their head ¾ of a circle.

Q: Do owls have ears?
A: Yes, they do have ears, they are slits, asymetric, behind the facial mask. This wonderful hearing and incredible sight make them a formidable predator.

Q: Why have you got them tied down?
A: When owls are on display, they have leather anklets on their legs, these anklets are called aylmeris and attached to these are jesses with slits in them so that a line can be attached to secure them. This equipment is taken off when they go back to their enclosures.

Q: How long have you had owls?
A: I had my first owl in 1989.

Q: Why have you got owls in the daytime?
A: Contrary to popular belief that owls only hunt at night, they do hunt in the daytime especially when they have young to feed. However, it's better for them to hunt at night as other birds have gone to sleep. As we are not funded, the birds we display help support the sanctuary.

Q: Which owls do we have in Great Britain?
A: Here is the list of British owls:

* Little Owl (Athene Noctua)
* Short-eared Owl (Asio Flammeus)
* Long-eared Owl (Asio Otus)
* Tawny Owl (Strix Aluco)
* Barn Owl (Tyto Alba)
* Snowy Owl (Nyctea Scandiaca)

The European Eagle Owl is not present, but has been reintroduced in the North of England, so may in time be put back on the list.

Q: How long does an owl live?
A: Owls can live up to 60 years.

Q: How big can an owl get?
A: European Eagles can reach 3 metres (10 ft) of wingspan.

Q: I've found an animal. He looks hurt. What do I do?
A: Please see the links/contacts below and refer to the appropriate specialists:

Cats & Dogs

Last Chance Animal Rescue
Stick Hill, Hartfield Road
Edenbridge,Kent, TN8 5NH
Tel: 01732 865530 (10.00am - 3.00pm)


Hedgehog Care
Mrs Mavis Righini, 'Rorty Crankle'
85 Pickhurst Lane,
Hayes, Bromley, Kent, BR2 7HU
Tel: 020 8462 1168


Canterbury Horse Rescue
Boundgate Farm, Shottenden Road,
Badlesmere, Nr Faversham, Kent, ME13 OJX
Tel: 01233 740730


Hawkhurst Owl Rescue
Tel: 01580 753353

Tomar Owl Sanctuary
Near Ashford, Kent
Tel: 01233 503437


Mongeham Small Animal Sanctuary
Deal, Kent
Tel: 01304 374574

Giant Rabbit Rescue
42 Ridham Avenue, Kemsley,
Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 2SF
Tel: 01795 420642


Beaver Water World
Waylands Farm, Approach Road,
Tatsfield, Nr. Westerham, Kent, TN16 2JT
Tel: 01959 577747


Dover Wildlife Hotline: 07831 444479.