Owl’s about that then
For the first time this century a barn owl has been born in captivity - and its happened at Rotorua’s Wingspan Bird of Prey Centre.
‘‘Wingspan are thrilled to announce that our barn owls have produced their first chick, marking the first barn owl chick to be bred in captivity this century,’’ said Wingspan founder Debbie Stewart.
Stewart said their barn owl monitoring programme began a decade ago with a midnight call to Wingspan ‘‘when a young female barn owl, Tahi, was found with a broken wing’’.
‘‘Despite attempts for her rehabilitation back into the wild, with a permanent wing injury she has remained in captivity since that time.’’
Tahi was introduced to a young male barn owl, Bubo, this year.
She said that despite being a nonnative species, they live happily alongside ruru in both New Zealand and Australia.
Wingspan researcher Noel Hydesaid they had been hoping for a male companion for Tahi for 10 years.
He said barn owls are ‘‘incredibly difficult to sex visually’’ so they would have to pluck a feather and send it to Massey University to have the chick’s gender ascertained.
He said they can breed until around 15 years old.
Mother barn owl Tahi with her baby.