A face only a mother could love…Boston’s most unusual looking baby is on exhibit at Franklin Park Zoo

April 21, 2009 at 5:08 pm Leave a comment

Boston; April 21, 2009 – Visitors to Franklin Park Zoo’s Franklin Farm should be sure to take special note of one of the zoo’s newest residents – a barn owl chick.

The chick, hatched March 25 at the zoo, is the offspring of Morpheus and Athena. When barn owl chicks hatch they are helpless and covered with white down. They acquire adult-like plumage about 8 to 10 weeks after hatching.

“School vacation week is underway and we are seeing a lot of happy families enjoying the zoo. The zoo is a wonderful place for families to discover wildlife together – from more familiar animals such as lions and zebras to more unusual-looking animals like our barn owl chick – there is so much to see and discover,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO.

Barn owls are the most widely distributed birds in the world, found on all continents except Antarctica. They can locate prey by sound alone and have been known to catch mice in complete darkness. The barn owl’s ears are different sizes with one located higher on the head than the other. This allows these birds to pinpoint where sound is coming from.

Chicks are typically fed by their parents for about the first two months of life. By around day 55, these young birds have the feathers necessary for flight. After learning the hunting skills needed to survive, the owls leave the nest. They are able to breed at about 10 months old.


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