HawkWatch International’s new Barn Owl and her sibling were displaced from their nest during a storm. The property owner contacted the Division of Wildlife Resources, who offered to place a new nest box on the property. The owners did not want the new box, so the young owls were sent to a local wildlife rehabilitator. When multiple owls are raised together, it’s possible to keep them from becoming imprinted, but when an owl is a single chick, it’s much harder to raise it without imprinting it on humans. Unfortunately, our Barn Owl’s sibling died, and there were no other Barn Owl chicks in the area of the correct age to raise her with. The rehabber even tried to get her adult Barn Owl raptor ambassador to raise the chick, but she wasn’t interested. With no other options, the rehabber raised our Barn Owl by hand, leading to her forming a deep imprint on humans. She sees humans as a source of food, so releasing her would be dangerous for her and any humans she might approach. Since the rehabber knew the owl would be an imprint, she worked hard to safely introduce it to a lot of different situations and environments. This helped prime the bird for life as a raptor ambassador and was very important because Barn Owls can be sensitive and shy, so exposure to new things at an early age makes life with humans less stressful. HawkWatch International’s education team is continuing to prepare the owl for life as an education bird by slowly introducing her to new things and situations. She is a curious, inquisitive bird and has the perfect temperament for programs. We are excited for her to begin charming learners as much as she charms us!
A Fun Fact about our Barn Owl
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