Resident Raptor - Barn Owl
Diana, Nani, Soren & Padawan
Nani The darker face and belly of this bird would indicate that she is probably a female. Her nest was destroyed when the farmer needed to break into that stack of hay; she was the 'runt' of the clutch, nearly comatose, and only about half the size of her two siblings when found. We do not know if she was unable to compete for food with her much bigger nest mates or if her parents sensed there was something wrong and simply did not feed her. As she was growing, she was always a couple of weeks behind the other two developmentally. Both wings had 'green stick fractures' of the radius and ulna (breaks that don't go all the way through the bone), causing a deformity of both wings and making it impossible for her to fly well enough for release. Her balance is good, though, and she gets around well. She was transferred to CRC in June 2008 when she was about 2 months old.
Soren The pale coloration of this bird makes it probable that it is a male. When he was less than a week old, his nest was disturbed accidentally when a farmer moved some hay bales; his siblings were all killed and he fell awkwardly, breaking two toes on his right foot and pulling a muscle in his left leg. He could not stand nor even sit back on his hocks for weeks. The intensive care he needed, and the lack of other barn owls at such an impressionable age, caused him to imprint on humans. Human imprints are not releasable, as they do not relate to their own species, are drawn to people and/or become very territorial and aggressive towards people, and are very likely to get hurt. He was transferred to CRC in June 2008 at the age of 2 months.
Diana This female was found on Highway 99 in West Eugene in November 1994. She was thin, with a fresh concussion and head injury as well as an older fracture in the left wing tip which did not heal well enough for release. Although somewhat nervous around people, Diana was the first adult barn owl that Artemus tolerated, so we kept her for companionship. They were a bonded pair for 14 years and raised dozens of foster young together. After his death in 2008, at the age of 17, we moved Diana off display to a permanent rehabilitation enclosure, where she has continued to be a stellar foster mom for many orphaned barn owls, including over 40 in 2011 alone!
|Length||17" ave.||17" ave.|
|Wing Span||45" ave.||45" ave.|
|Weight||15.6 oz. ave.||17.3 oz. ave.|
Status - State and federally protected; listed as endangered in many
mid-western and eastern states; declining in Great Britain.
Habitat - Widespread, but not common, in areas with lots of open fields, marshes, and pasture for hunting and large hollow trees or numerous old buildings for breeding sites. Less common in open countryside that has been intensely cultivated.
Diet - Hunts by extended solitary flights over open ground, often following favorite routes. Eats any small mammals to be found at dusk and into the night in open habitats - primarily voles, shrews, mice and other rodents. Average prey size is generally smaller than that of great horned owls that may inhabit the same area. In places where the larger great horned owls are present, barn owls may hunt only in hours of darkness, not only to avoid competing for food with the larger, more crepuscular owl species, but to avoid falling prey to them as well.
Call - This nocturnal species uses a great variety of calls, from screaming, screeching, hissing, purring notes, to a repeating wheezy hiss called "snoring." The most common call is a hissing shriek cssssshhH.
Nesting - Originally nested in caves, cliff faces, and hollow trees, but take advantage of barns, attics, and other man-made structures where these are available.
Most Common Problems - These owls are often hit by cars or trucks when flying low across or along roads at night. Nests built in places where human disturbance is likely, such as haystacks, buildings, and other structures, are often destroyed; young often fall from nests or fledge from nests into dangerous areas, such as manufacturing plants, warehouses, mills.