Monday, December 16. 2019
Barn Owl in Need of Rescue
Our Vancouver office responded to an emergency call regarding an owl found inside a warehouse in Vancouver, British Columbia. They immediately dispatched one of their technicians to the call and found the owl sitting on a ceiling pipe inside the building. They were able to catch the owl and bring her outside to be let free.
Once placed on the ground, the owl was displaying some unusual behaviour. She was not interested in taking in her surroundings or looking to fly away but instead was looking down and swaying her head back and forth. Vancouver technician immediately saw this as a sign that the owl was not well and decided to pick her back up to bring to OWL Rehab, which is a facility dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of raptors (eagles, falcons, hawks, osprey, owls, and vultures). The next day, our Vancouver office received word that the Owl had sadly passed in her sleep. When the staff at OWL had a look at the video that was taken of the Barn Owl displaying her odd behaviour, they said it is possible she had the West Nile Virus. In 2002 it was discovered that West Nile was a serious new disease to Canada's more northern owls. There was quite a large outbreak in Canada in 2002. Thankfully, as of August 31st there had only been 4 recorded cases in Canada compared to 427 in 2018.
Below are some interested facts and characteristics about the amazing Barn Owl.
- A Barn Owl makes almost no noise when it flies. This allows them to hear the smallest noises made by their rodent prey hidden while they fly up to 3 metres overhead. They have broad and rounded wings with a high surface area, which allows Barn Owls glide for longer without flapping their wings as often.
- Barn Owls have heart-shaped face that collects sound the same way as human ears. Hidden beneath their feathers are their ears at slightly different heights, which helps calculate the small sounds made by their prey, such as a mouse. They have the most sensitive hearing of any creature tested.
- As mentioned above, Barn Owls prey mostly on wood mice, field voles, and common shrews
- Barn Owls don’t hoot, they screech and scream
- Barn Owls will often use the same nesting site year after year and are usually monogamous, meaning they stay faithful to one partner until one of them dies.
Picture taken by the staff at our Vancouver Office.
By Brad Gates, B.Sc.
Brad Gates is the owner and president of AAA Gates Wildlife Control. He has over 35 years experience in the humane wildlife removal and prevention industry.
We provide wildlife control services in the following cities:Ajax