After our walk in Randalstown Forest, we stopped at World of Owls, an education and conservation centre for birds of prey. World of Owls is the only owl, bird of prey, and exotic animal sanctuary in Northern Ireland. The centre is a registered charity (NIC1009938), entirely staffed by volunteers, and every penny left by visitors goes to the care and upkeep of the animals who are hosted here. Most of these animals were rescued from other centres or from privates, and some were subject to acts of cruelty. The majority of the birds were at some point in their lives bought and kept as pets, without proper knowledge required to keep such exotic animals. A few of them were rescued from extremely horrendous situations. Now, they are safely in the care of volunteers at Worlds of Owls and can enjoy a protected and peaceful environment. The centre also educates people about these marvellous animals and offer the opportunity to “adopt” one of the owls by granting one year free entrance to the sanctuary to visit them whenever you like. Entrance is 5.30 pounds and it’s all worth it – starting with the fact that you’ll be greeted at the entrance by two giant and colourful parrots.

The sanctuary hosts more than 50 species of owls and birds of prey, and each bird has a name. You can see Abyssinian eagles owls Rodger and Jessica and enjoy the calm stare of Saroman, a Canadian great horned howl. Among the exotic species, you can admire Asian wood owls Totoro and Mulan, Indian scoop owls Taj and Naan, Australian boobooks Cobber and Boo and also Turkey vulture Trigger. The list is very long and the animals are so diverse and awesome that you’ll be totally charmed by their beauty and tempers.

World of Owls is definitely a place to visit: the staff is very friendly and they are more than happy to answer any questions about the sanctuary and their animals. They can tell you their stories and give you information about their temper and their needs. Not only you will enjoy yourself and be amazed by these incredible animals, but you will help the centre to save more animals and give them shelter from poor conditions and abuse.

World of Owls Centre is in Randalstown Forest, Co. Antrim – BT41 3LE. Pay them a visit!

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