European Barn Owl
ARC had been seeking a rehabilitated Barn Owl capable of flight for over a year. With no suitable candidates available, ARC decided to adopt Henry. By the age of 10 weeks, Henry was ready to travel to his new home here at the Avian Reconditioning Center.
In the wild, Barn Owls perch high up in barns and other similar structures so it's no surprise that Henry inquisitively searches behind boxes and in corners for a suitable perch. He is well mannered and allows his handlers to gently lift the feathers behind his facial disk to show his large ears.
Although found on every continent except Antarctica, Barn Owls are elusive and rarely seen in the wild, making Henry very popular with birding enthusiasts and the general public. He is sometimes called the "Sweetheart" owl because of his heart-shaped face.
Eastern Screech Owl
(Photo by Jack Rogers)
His left eye was seriously injured in the attack and could not be saved. Since Hunter was still a downy owlet at the time of the attack, it was unsure if there would be permanent damage to the feathers.
Hunter was transferred to The Avian Reconditioning Center to recuperate following surgery and became a permanent resident shortly thereafter. Although it seemed to take a long while, new feathers slowly began to emerge!
Typical of this nocturnal species, Hunter is content to perch quietly during the day, sometimes venturing onto the top of his "nestbox." Before settling down for the day, Hunter greets the sunrise with much twittering, trilling and the quavering whistled call common to the Screech-owl.
At night he usually chooses to sit on a high branch in his mew and will often splash about in his bath bowl before eating his dinner. When meeting strangers, he often cocks his head to the right as if to ask "Who are you?"
Great Horned Owl
During those first weeks, in order for the owlet to have had healthy development and to have learned the proper skills to survive in the wild, Gordon needed to be raised by his parents, or one of his own species. In fact, although Gordon was found on the ground, he was perfectly healthy. Many times after young owlets leave the nest, parents will feed their young on the ground until they are able to fly.
Because Gordon was taken out of his environment and raised by a human, he will never be able to be released into the wild. Gordon does not consider himself a Great-horned Owl, but identifies with people because he was imprinted so early in his life. When he arrived at the Avian Reconditioning Center, Gordon stood out from the other young Great Horned owlets. While the others would hiss and clack from a high perch at people, Gordon would be on the ground begging for food, not showing any natural fear.
Because Gordon did not show the necessary skills to survive in the wild, he found a permanent home at ARC. Gordon has enjoyed visiting many day camps and groups, and finds every experience new and exciting. He is quite the character and sometimes it can be humorous to just sit and watch him. Gordy becomes amazed by flying insects, especially butterflies.
Common Barn Owl
(Photo by Jack Rogers)
Whisper loves to be outdoors and seems quite content in her new living quarters. This structure allows Whisper a virtually unobstructed, panoramic view of the natural world surrounding her. Even though she is nocturnal, Whisper will often perch contentedly atop the box during the day seemingly taking it all in. When she gets tired, she snuggles down inside the box, pulls one leg up to her chest and settles down to sleep.
Although Whisper dozes throughout the day, she becomes quite animated with nightfall. On a starry, moonlit night, her silhouette is visible to us as she experiences and reacts to many things our human eyes do not have the capacity to discern.
Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owls, also known as "Tigers of the Sky," are the largest and most powerful owl species occurring in Florida. Because it was quickly realized that Gullie would be non-releasable, glove training began as soon as she recovered from surgery.
During the spring, Gullie has a very important job that keeps her quite busy. She acts as a surrogate parent to orphaned Great Horned Owlets. In many cases she accepts abandoned eggs as her own, often incubating them for several weeks before it becomes apparent the eggs are not viable.
Gullie readily takes to young, downy orphans, bonding with and feeding them attentively. Bonding helps a chick establish its identity and plays an important role in social development, both essential to a normal life in the wild. She also teaches them the vital skills necessary to survive once released to their natural habitat.
With her nearly 5-foot wingspan, tremendous powerful feet, razor-sharp talons and enormous gold eyes, Gullie is truly a magnificent sight to behold.
After a time, it was established that this owl had imprinted on people, she was permanently placed with a wildlife education facility on the west coast of Florida where she remained for the next 3 years. In June of 2010, that facility was closing and so this beautiful owl, now 3-years old, found her new home at ARC.
Mrs. P is named in honor of a wonderful Barred Owl named Mr. Picklesimer who was with ARC for over 25 years, but sadly passed away in December of 2009 at the age of 28. Like Mrs. P, he had come to ARC as an adult at the age of 3.
Mrs. P loves to bask in the warmth of the sun and she will close her huge brown eyes and slowly tip her head back as far as she can. But just when you think she has fallen asleep, she will slowly open eye a crack and peek at you. Bath time is also a big hit with Mrs. P, although she’s a little shy and waits until no one is watching before she jumps in her pond to splash about. Immediately after her pond is filled with fresh water, she enjoys having a handful of the cool water dribbled over her head and she playfully opens her beak to catch the drops of water.
Adopting of one of our education raptors will help fund their care and feeding as well as to support our vital rehabilitation efforts. Please visit Adopt-a-Bird to learn more about this program and how you can help.