A "Bird's Eye" View of the  CTLT Building Site

barn own being held by Terry Tinker


A barn owl is held by Terry Tinker, Veterinary Technician, after being removed from her nest in the walls of the CTLT building site.

On Friday, March 2, a barn owl was discovered nesting between the interior and exterior walls at the construction site of the new Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) building on Stadium way.

The mother had built her nest on a girder located between two windows, just out of human reach. Dr. Erik Stauber, an exotic and wildlife veterinarian at Washington State University said that it's unlikely that the mother bird would return to the nest if it were relocated, so it was decided to remove the eggs and hatch them.

catching the mother bird catching the mother bird catching the mother bird

The mother bird was caught and removed from the nest. 

recovering the eggs recovering the eggs
recovering the eggs


recovering the eggs

A human "conveyor" was formed with one person sitting in each windowsill pushing the eggs into an open net.

Seven eggs were recovered and were taken to a local falconer for incubation.

Barn owls lay eggs at intervals of two or three days between each egg, laying on average, 5 to 7 eggs. The eggs hatch in 21 to 24 days. The young hatch in the order in which they were laid so there can be quite a range in the size of birds in the nest. The hatch rate in captivity is good and when the fledglings are old enough, they will be released back into the wild.

The mother owl was taken to the Veterinary Hospital and released later the same day.

mother being put in a box for transportation

Her nest location was closed up to prevent her from laying more eggs in the same spot.

Stay tuned for follow-ups.


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Revised February 19, 2004