Meet Bertie and Find Out Why This Rescued Tawny Owl Won’t Go Outside?


If you enjoy tiny owls or other like type critters, then you’re going to love meeting Bertie, a three-year-old domesticated tawny owl.

Bertie lives with his owner, Peter Middleton, in a farmhouse and was adopted after being rescued by the local vets.

Bertie loves to welcome guests and works hard shredding work letters in the office.



After adopting the owl, Mr. Middleton observed that it’s agoraphobic, an unusual trait for the outdoor animals.

In Mr. Middleton’s words,  “He just doesn’t like going outside, I think it is agoraphobic. He’s not used it, and he’s very comfortable in the house.”

Middleton, 56, an organic farmer in Northumberland runs the Trewitley Owl Trust. The charity is responsible for looking after an estimated 50 rescued owls.

Middleton shared that Bertie had come to him from the local vets, stating that he wouldn’t have lasted any longer had he not been found.

“He arrived as a forlorn mud-covered chick with infectious feet. He was in a very sorry state.”

Bertie had been with Mr. Middleton for over three years.

Bertie had spent the first two months of his life being cared by vets. Just a tiny fluff ball, he soon started to stand on top of doors, watching everybody.

He was taken under Mr. Middleton’s care and placed in the aviary along with other owls.

“He was agitated and didn’t like it, so I got a large dog’s cage on my back porch and put him inside there. He has a lovely view out of the window and hoots when anyone arrives,” Mr. Middelton said, even comparing Bertie to a guard dog.

He also adds that even his sister, who visits the farm, feels welcomed by Bertie’s hoot.

“He’s very sweet actually, he’s a very gentle little bird,” Mr. Middleton quipped.



Bertie has his own share of fears other than agoraphobia, one of those is helicopters flying from above.

“He likes his house, and as far as he is concerned, the farm is his home. The only thing that scares him is when there are helicopters flying above. He gets a bit frightened.”



Bertie’s got a life ahead of him, 0wls of his breed live an estimated fifteen years. A life he shares with three dogs and a pet raven he’s yet to meet.

“He doesn’t come into contact with other owls, and I don’t allow the pet raven to meet him as he’s very territorial and likes to be the center of attention.”

Bertie has no problem with interacting with humans, though; he enjoys standing on the back on the sofa and preening on people’s hair.

The dogs? Well, Bertie has zero issues with them too.

“He hoots at the dogs when we let them out, but otherwise, he ignores them.”

When Bertie is not busy washing itself, he assists his owner in the office upstairs by shredding paper and amusing himself with glittery pencils.

Mr Middleton said, “He likes my office and either sits on my shoulder or sits on the windowsill, and that way, he has a lovely view onto open fields.”

“We often say how privileged we are to have him, he’s so gentle, you could trust him with a small child. Bertie is a wonderful animal.”

Mr Middleton added, “Owls by nature are fairly sedentary. Bertie is incredibly content sitting and watching the world go by.”



Check out other owls in the videos below.