~Update on our resident barred owls~
The barred owl is the most vocal of the owls, uttering the familiar WHOO, WHOO, WHO call. It also utters a variety of other sounds.
It is a medium-sized owl and is characterized by the barred colour pattern on its chest and abdomen (hence its name). The females are slightly larger than the males.
The barred owl is a light and graceful flyer. It seldom soars but can fly at great heights to elude harassing crows. It is very agile in the thick forest, using its short wings to maneuver between branches. Its favourite prey is rodents, mainly rats and mice. They will also eat birds, snakes, insects, frogs, bats and even fish. Their feet and talons are small for their size, so they tend to carry prey in their beaks.
There are four resident non-releasable Barred Owls at NIWRA. One-Eye and Eye-Gone have wing and eye injuries, likely from vehicle collisions.
Oliver is gloved trained and a popular animal ambassador.
Quinn was struck by a car while hunting on the roadside and is blind in one eye. Oliver suffered a wing injury as a nestling and was being raised for release, but unfortunately his wing never fully healed and he is not capable of sustained (or silent) flight. Both Quinn and Oliver were very young when they were injured and deemed non-releasable, so they were raised intentionally as Animal Ambassadors and are part of our education program.
Quinn and Oliver check out visitors - WHOO are you staring at!?
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