Cuteness Alert! Box of Baby Barn Owls Found in Texas Roadside
Police in Texas have found an abandoned box filled with baby owls at the City Lake Park in Texas. City of Kaufman Police Department posted on Facebook images of the poor, adorable creatures.
According to the United Press International, the birds were immediately taken to Rogers Wildlife Rehab Center. They were then transferred to the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center, the only state and federally licensed raptor rehabilitation and conservation center in North Texas.
Rogers Wildlife Rehab Center director Kathy Rogers told KXAS-TV (NBC5) that the baby owls, estimated to be two weeks to more than three months old, were "in good health."
Meanwhile, Executive Director Erich Neupert says the baby owls would be released in the next couple of months after treatment and rehabilitation. Neupert added that with a lot of storms lately, more baby birds would be affected. He advised people, who will come across injured baby birds, to not take them at home but surrender them to professionals.
"The biggest issue we have is people try to take baby birds home. A baby bird taken home doesn't learn how to hunt, survive in the wild at all," Neupert said. The owlets found at the park were identified as barn owls.
Barn owls, just like most owl species are nocturnal. Cornell Lab of Ornithology said they are characterized by their ghostly heart-shaped pale face, white chest and belly and their eerie shrieks. They have a long, rounded wings and short tail which they use when they search for prey at night.
Barn owls require large areas of open land when hunting for their prey, which are usually rodents. Their ability to locate prey by sound alone is one of the best compared to other animals.
Although they are currently listed as least concern by IUCN status, barn owls are noticeably declining in parts of their range due to habitat loss. Royal Society of Bird Protection Community noted that barn owl population was adversely affected by organochlorine pesticides such as DDT in the 1950s and 19660s.