Appearance: Barn owls have a white, flat, heart-shaped face that is distinctive to its species and acts like a satellite dish to funnel sounds to their ears. Their plumage is mostly made up of white to gold colored feathers. This unique appearance has earned them nicknames like the Golden Owl, Ghost Owl, and Monkey Owl. Compared to other owl species, the barn owl has a beak that is hidden behind stiff feathers that protrude out from its nostrils. Their eyes are also relatively smaller than most other owl species.
Range: Barn owls are very commonly found in the south and live all across the United States. Their species has learned to adapt to a decreasing number of habitats by building nest in human populated areas. Barn owls can be found nesting in barns and abandoned city buildings.
Diet: Barn owls are carnivores and require a lot of space for hunting. They need a minimum of 70 acres of land as their hunting zone, and they will hunt and eat various small mammals such as mice and voles. Barn owls have a unique flight style, and they can hover in the air for as long as a minute.
Date of Birth: February 2011
Bela came to the WNC Nature Center from the Arizona Fish and Game Adobe Mt. Wildlife Center in April 2014. Bela was named by her keeper after Bela Lugosi, who was the original actor who played Dracula. Bela covers her face with her wing much like the character Dracula.
Date of Birth: April 2009
Boris joined Bela in the Birds of Prey area in December 2021. He came to the WNC Nature Center from Ross Park Zoo in Binghamton, New York. Boris is named after Boris Karloff, who acted in the 1930s films Frankenstein and The Mummy.