Written by: Karlee May, Digital Media Coordinator
Jazz was captive bred at the Muskoka Wildlife Centre and, as a result, is human imprinted. Jazz is quite unique; her father was a European subspecies and her mother was an American subspecies, so she has characteristics of both. She is quite a bit smaller than a typical American barn owl, and has some darker markings like the European counterpart.
Barn Owls are easily identified by the heart shaped face, and golden tone to its feathers. Notice the round head? Barn Owls lack the tufts, the plumiforms, on top of their heads. Instead of hooting, Barn Owls call using hisses, screams, and cries. Barn Owls have asymmetrical ears on each side of their head allowing them to pinpoint prey using their highly specialized hearing.
Barn Owls have a lifespan of two to four years in the wild, and they return to the same nest year after year. This species of owl easily adapts their nests to caves, trees, barns. A family of Barn Owls living in a farmer’s barn can eat up to 1000 rodents in one year! Since they are such superb mousers, eating mice, rats, voles, and shrews, farmers let the owls live in the rafters of their barns, and hunt rodents on the farm.
Barn Owls are found on all the continents, except for Antarctica because they are unable to tolerate sever cold. Because Barn Owls cannot tolerate severe winters, the Barn Owls live no further north than Southern Ontario and British Columbia. Habitat loss is the biggest threat to this species of owl.
Jazz is an education bird, and a flying bird! You can come and watch her soar at a Raptor Show, or watch her during enrichment activities Please help Conservation Halton care for her and the other raptors at Mountsberg Raptor Centre by contributing to the Raptor of the Month program.