Art Knapp Articles
Introducing our Owl Repatriation Projectin
Ever seen owls mate?? Introducing our owl repatriation project.
Click here at any time to view the owls in real time:
As part of our commitment to helping preserve and maintain our heritage and indigenous wildlife species, we have undertaken an owl repatriation project right on our own property! We are proud to be recognized as one of Western Canada’s ‘Owl Hot Spots’. Have a look up toward the back of the nursery, and you will see our ‘owl barrels’.
Why are we doing this? BC’s barn owl population is considered “vulnerable” by COSEWIC (Committee On the Status of Endangered Wildlife In Canada) and are disappearing from many parts of Canada. This is due to the loss of many nesting sites (fewer wooden barns and more being made out of aluminum). Barn owl box programs in the Fraser Valley provide nesting sights for these owls. Our barrels are equipped with live Owl Cams and we will be monitoring our owls through our live feed, and showing important events that we capture. Help us create awareness of the declining barn owl population, and follow along with us as we watch our owl barrels being used.
Barn owls mate for life. Experts think males look for females with more spots. There is a correlation between the number of spots a female has and offspring parasite resistance. If you take a look at the owl in our owl box camera HERE, you’ll notice her spots on her abdomen. If you happen to get a close-up look at the female, you might even see her brood patch, which is a featherless area designed to keep her eggs warm while incubating them.
Here's a close up video of the female in our owl box where you can see her spots:
On the live feed, you may have also witnessed the male delivering prey to the female while she is busy sitting on her eggs. Barn owls eat mostly rats, mice, voles, lemmings, shrews, bats, rabbits, and other rodents. Squirrels and chipmunks are mostly safe from barn owls, since they hunt their prey at night. If you noticed what looks like either of the owls throwing up, you probably witnessed it regurgitating or “casting” a pellet. Barn owls often swallow their prey whole. Any indigestible parts of the prey (such as bone, fur, and tough insect parts) form a pellet in the “gizzard”, which is a muscular area of the stomach. You might be wondering how the female gets the water she needs while incubating her eggs. Barn owls have never been observed drinking water in the wild. They get all the water they need from eating prey.
Stay tuned for updates on the owls in our owl boxes and keep up with what they're doing with our live stream!