Barn owls have not been seen in Michigan in over a decade, but a new guest at a bird rehabilitation facility in Grand Rapids has ornithologists excited. According to MLive.com, a male barn owl was delivered to the Blandford Nature Center May 21 after being discovered ill and weak in a barn. Initial examinations were inconclusive about what caused the bird's condition, but poisoning could be at fault. Fortunately, the bird has been recovering strongly, but it is not yet known if it will be able to be released.
Barn owls are relatively common throughout much of the United States with many additional subspecies around the world, but fewer than a half dozen sightings have been recorded in Michigan in the past 30 years. While the birds are not endangered or overall extinct, they are considered extinct locally in Michigan, making this sighting all the more remarkable.
Anyone interested in donating to support this barn owl's care and rehabilitation can visit the Blandford Nature Center website.
Photo © Tony Hisgett