Give Now

Delays, Closings and Severe Weather - View All Alerts and Updates

Endangered Barn Owl Recovering From Alleged Gun Shot Wounds


Wildlife rehabilitators think someone shot a barn owl in Perry County, and they want answers.

According to a Facebook post, conservationists checked the rare bird in to the Dwight R Chamberlain Raptor Center last week.

Amy Kearns is an assistant non-game bird biologist with the Department of Natural Resources. She says it’s common that people shoot state endangered barn owls, but the birds aren’t threats to their farms.

“They can help out with all the voles which cause crop damage and all the mice which people don’t often like to be overrun with mice,” Kearns says. 

Barn owls are the rarest nesting owls in the state.

Kearns says the DNR usually estimates there to be around 50 pairs of barn owls in the state, but this past year has been exceptional.

She says they found 42 nests in 2017.

“Something is happening where they’re doing better,” she says. “It might be that there are more nest boxes out for them or possibly there was just a lot of food available for them during the last couple years.”

Although the barn owls are doing better than in recent years, Kearns says they’re still rare and it’s illegal to shoot them. She says it most likely will take a long time before the Perry County barn owl can be released back into the wild, if at all.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From