This gallery contains 3 photos. An attractive raptor with a heart-shaped facial disc, the Barn Owl is an endangered bird in Ladner, BC, thanks to both the scarcity of mice and rats in a region where blueberries have superseded wheat as the crop of choice; and the lack of barns, where the Barn Owl lives and nests. This is Sarah, one of three Barn Owl permanent residents at the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society, photographed on July 27 in the Interim Care building.
By keeping rodents in check, more food makes it onto our dinner table, and there is also a greatly diminished possibility of disease. This particular raptor is gifted with extraordinary hearing — it can even hear the heartbeats of everyone in a 30 square foot room — and silent flight, which lets it descend on and capture its prey with extreme stealth. As nocturnal creatures, these endowments are critical when hunting in (sometimes) complete darkness.
The Barn Owl has the least amount of feathers of any owl — so keeping warm in the winter time is a challenge and underscores the importance of having a barn to live in! The other Barn Owl –pictured above and in the third photo below–broke her right wing near the joint as a baby when she fell out of the nest, and because Alba hasn’t gotten her complete powers of flight back, is a permanent O.W.L. resident.