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Identified by its heart-shaped facial disk, white underparts, and long legs, the barn owl roosts and nests on ledges in old buildings, silos, and barns, as well as in hollow trees. Having the most sensitive hearing of all owls, the barn owl can pinpoint the direction and distance of rustling prey in total darkness. One owl consumes almost 1,000 rodents per year. Not a hooting owl, the bird makes raspy screeches, hisses and clicks with its beak. The owl's eerie shriek and silent mothlike flight have startled many a nighttime traveler.
Our Animal's Story
There are currently three male barn owls in the habitat. The first owl arrived at ZooAmerica in August of 2016. He was found in the wild with an injured left wing and was taken to a wildlife rehabilitator. He was not able to be released back into the wild since it could no longer fly. The second owl arrived at ZooAmerica in June of 2018 as a 4 month old from Western North Carolina Nature Center. The third owl arrived at ZooAmerica in October of 2020 from the Maryland Zoo. This male owl was injured in the wild and was taken to a Baltimore wildlife rehabilitator where it was decided that he was nonreleasable due to his injuries.