Hatch Date: Fall 2015
Reason Non-Releasable: Deaf
Species Weight Range: 0.9-1.5 lbs (400-700 g)
Joined TRC Team: April 2016
Favorite Enrichment: Wandering the hallway and a shower
Fun Fact: Barn Owls can see in almost complete darkness but they are also known to find prey with their excellent hearing using sound alone.
In late September of 2015, a nestling Barn Owl arrived at Teton Raptor Center’s rehab clinic in very poor condition. The first 48 hours were quite precarious, but she responded well to treatment and quickly regained her appetite. We became cautiously optimistic for a successful return to the wild. About six weeks after her arrival, the little owl had grown strong and was ready for flight and live-prey testing. While she showed great potential and endurance with flight testing, she failed miserably when offered live prey. It took a few days to realize that she couldn’t hit the food consistently because she was profoundly deaf. We received permission from Wyoming Game and Fish as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to transfer her to our education team. While we were disappointed that she would not be able to return to the wild, we are encouraged by her relative ease in handling daily life as an avian ambassador. “Manzana” is the Spanish word for “apple”. Barn Owls are nicknamed the “Apple-faced owls”.