Guidelines for raptor housing and equipment
Information regarding falconry and falconry regulations in Utah
Raptors can be housed and properly cared for in a variety of enclosures. Building a solid wood mew is not the only alternative. The following are general descriptions of adequate facilities; final judgments rest with those conducting inspections.
Walls: Wall can be wood or fiberglass. If chain link is used, it should be covered entirely with wood lath, fiberglass screening, netting, etc. Take care not to leave nails, screws, wood splinters, etc., exposed. Partially bury walls or lay chicken wire horizontally along the exterior base of the wall to prevent predator (wild and domestic) digging.
Windows: Use vertical lathing or dowels (mounted on the inside). Chicken wire is unacceptable.
Flooring: Wood shavings (not sawdust). Natural flooring may be used (dirt, sand, etc.) , but it must be periodically turned and disinfected. Pea gravel also works. Concrete will suffice, but it is hard on feet and talons. Concrete also tends to stay damp when washed down.
Perches: Provide one or more at different heights, with one by a window. Use wood dowelings, platforms and or block perches that are covered with artificial turf, hemp rope or indooor/outdoor carpeting. Also use covered bow, block and/or ring perches depending on the species held.
- Acciptiters: Goshawks, Cooper's Hawks, and Sharp-shinned Hawks do best on round perches (covered doweling).
- Falcons: Prairie Falcons, Gyr Falcons and Peregrine Falcons do best on covered dowelings and round perches.
- Buteos: Red-tailed Hawks, Rough-legged Hawks and Swainson's Hawk do best on covered dowelings and block perches.
A double-door system works great, but not required. A key lock or combination lock is also recommended.
Suggested minimum mew dimensions
These suggestion are for one bird only. Double the dimensions for two birds, and add a solid wall to separate.
6' x 8' x7'
- Northern Goshawk
- Rough-legged Hawk
- Ferruginous Hawk
- Red-tailed Hawk
- Swainson's Hawk
- Harris' Hawk
- Gyr Falcon
- Prairie Falcon
- Peregrine Falcon
6' x 6' x6'
- Cooper's Hawk
- Sharp-shinned Hawk
- Northern Harrier
- American Kestrel