Wait, let me back up a bit and start from the beginning. We were outside (As always, when the weather is nice) in the back area of our property, close to some fairly dense trees, when I was walking and saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was something that looked like a giant chicken! But it went and perched on a tree? What would look like a giant chicken that flies and perches in trees? Well, I decided to find out... I turned around and had to really look closely because it was so camouflaged! Before I give you the answer let's look at the info we have right now~ We know it flew, perched in trees, and it's wing span was really big. Can anyone guess what it was? I will give you a hint it is the only animal that can turn it's head 270 degrees.
If you don't know what animal I am talking about I will just tell you... An Owl! At first it just looked really cool and I would even go as far as to say majestic! We were all really amazed and of course started taking pictures and then our dog Charlie figured out what we where looking at and thought he should scare it off for us and at first we were disappointed thinking that we had seen the end of him... But of course he came back and was actually perching right by our rabbits and yes we all had the thought in the back of our minds " Is he going to try and eat one of the rabbits?" then we would shut it down with " No, he can't possibly think he can pull a baby through the cage grids!" within a day or two of seeing him the first time I began researching for a school project what type of breed he is and this is what I found...
He is a Barren owl that has a normal territory of 213-903 acres! Oh, and yeah, they just happen to be invasive and are the main owl that is displacing the spotted owl. They are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 which means there really is not a way to get rid of them. While I was doing my research I also found that most owls aren't even migratory birds and that includes the Barren owl... Anyways, enough with all that, let's get back to my story! So, he was perching right next to the rabbits for about a week until he struck! We were, of course, outside again, but we were doing something in the cabin (which is fairly close to the rabbits) when we heard a scream! We came running out and saw him unclench his talons from one of the cages that had a young litter in it and fly away... When I got to the cage everyone was freaking out and a baby was just laying there dead. It had broken it's neck and thankfully it looked like it didn't suffer.
Right after that happened we moved the rabbits up to the front of the property so the owl couldn't harm them.
Although the owl is still here we have moved them back because the weather has been a little too warm to have them up front... With all that we have learned from this experience we are taking extra precautions to keep them safe. We still hear the owl hooting in the back but thankfully haven't seen him close to the rabbits and have other things that we can still do to keep him away such as having mesh on their hutches and keeping a motion light on by them to detour him.