Camera Critters #265 and Wild Bird Wednesday Meet Wilbur The Barn Owl

Photos Taken At The San Francisco Zoo

Wilbur the Barn Owl Interesting Facts

Meet My New Son Wilbur the Barn Owl

My friend, Paula and I went to the zoo yesterday on residents free day so that I could introduce her to Wilbur.  Unfortunately he was not there but was in the SF Zoo Mobile entertaining school children around San Francisco.

I went back today, Thursday in order to buy a membership to the zoo so that I could visit him whenever I want.  Every time I have seen him, he is always sleeping in his barn but today I was thrilled to see him outside playing, taking a bath and hanging out for his fans - and he has many.

I found out a few new facts about him.  He is a picky eater and will only eat black mice.  He is also bothered by the beeping sounds that the zoo trucks make when they are backing up.  He is a homebody and loves his little blue barn, as do I.

It was such a treat for me to see him so animated today.  He also will respond to his name if you call him while he is asleep.  Isn't he just the cutest? :)

Getting ready to take a bath :)

Primping his feathers after his bath.

Resting in his little barn.

Some facts about Wilbur

His adoption certificate.

The History Of Wilbur's Adoption
Source: Photo taken of Wilbur the barn owl at the San Francisco Zoo

This hub is a personal story of adoption. Like most zoos around the country, the San Francisco zoo has adoption packages for individuals who want to contribute to the care and well being of their favorite animals at the zoo. The animals are put up for adoption as a species. So, in other words, if you wanted to adopt a tiger for example, your contribution would go towards the tigers as a whole.
Now I have been going to the zoo for over five decades. Yes, I'm giving away my age with that statement but I love our zoo and still go there on a regular basis. The San Francisco Zoo has gone through many changes and many a media story over the past few years but for me, it brings me peace and joy each time I visit. I love all animals and the zoo brings me closer to their world.

Source: Photo taken of Wilbur the barn owl at the San Francisco Zoo

A little about Wilbur.

This is Wilbur the barn owl. He was born in 2006 and contracted West Nile Virus and as a result has neurological damage. Due to this damage he cannot be released into the wild. The zoo keeps him in the Koret Animal Resource Center where they take special care to make sure he has everything he needs. He has his own little blue barn in which he sleeps and rests. Since the zoo is only open during the day, I have only seen him while he is asleep.
Barn owls in general have excellent hearing and as a result do not need their eyes to hunt at night. These owls usually feed on rodents and are active after dusk especially while in wooded areas. They can be anywhere from 8 to almost 20 inches in length and have a wingspan up to over 40 inches. They are nocturnal.
Source: Photo of Wilbur the barn owl taken at the San Francisco Zoo.

My new son, Wilbur the barn owl.

As i previously mentioned, the SF zoo offers adoptions for an entire species. When I first saw Wilbur in 2010 and read his story, he had my heart. I just fell in love with this little guy. I visit and talk to him each time I go to the zoo.
I decided that I wanted to adopt him. I did not necessarily want to adopt the entire species of owls but only Wilbur so that I could contribute to his care. I contacted the zoo adoption dept. last week and asked if I could adopt him. Long story short, the zoo provided a special adoption package for me so that I can now call Wilbur my adoptive son :)
I just received the news a little while ago and completed the transaction and paperwork. I am ecstatic to say the least. I want to thank the San Francisco Zoo for allowing me to become Wilbur's Mom

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That beak and those claws prove he's no fluffy pushover. But you're right, he's as cute as can be.
Pat said…
Wilbur is a cutie!
eileeninmd said…
I love the barn owls, they are so cute. Great post and I enjoyed the photos.
Gemma Wiseman said…
What a great idea to connect wildlife and people by adoption! Wilbur has the most enchanting face! And love his feathers all fluffed out!
Brian King said…
A beautiful owl! I've never seen one except in photos.
He's a very handsome fellow.
Anonymous said…
Beautiful owl shots!
Anni said…
Absolutely AMAZING!! I've seen only one in my lifetime...decades ago, when I was just a youngster. At that time, it scared me with those huge eyes following ever step I took in my grandparent's barn. Now, I'd love to see one.

I really enjoyed this post!! And love the adoption concept.
HansHB said…
Cute owl!
Great photos!
Gary said…
Beautiful!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.
Interesting post about this little barn owl. I find owls fascinating and know what you mean about being excited he was active! For the first time I actually heard the eagle at our zoo make some noise and walk around on the ground instead of staying up on the tree just looking around. We went to the Cleveland zoo yesterday.
TexWisGirl said…
what a beauty! glad he is being well cared for!
Karen said…
What a gorgeous guy!
Flat Creek Farm said…
I have such a soft spot for owls! And your Wilbur is absolutely gorgeous. Love it that you adopted him :) -Tammy
Brian King said…
Such a handsome owl! I've never seen one of these in the wild. Glad he's getting good care.
Neil said…
Great that they allow adoption of the animals.
Esther Joy said…
How cool! Congrats on the adoption!
Carole M. said…
a beautiful owl and wonderful photographs of
Karen said…
He is a beautiful owl and so are these photos. Have a wonderful day.
Stewart M said…
It may not be wild, but it is one of my favourite birds. I think its one of (if not the) most wide spread bird know. Barn Owls are found everywhere except Antarctica!

Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW

Stewart M - Melbourne
Gillena Cox said…
Nice one, Happy Wednesday

much love...
Gorgeous owl and great shots ~ so glad he is protected ~ Great post ^_^
AVCr8teur said…
Wilbur is beautiful if you can say that about a male owl. :) I have an annual membership too and should go back soon to see him and the tiger cub.
EG CameraGirl said…
OH! What a cute owl! Now I want to see one in person. :)
MTWaggin said…
Absolutely stunning!!!! I love owls.
Arija said…
How beautiful he is. I am a great fan of owls but seldom see them here.
Thank you all so much for your comments. It is very much appreciated. I am learning more and more not just about Wilbur but about our zoo as well each time I visit.

Thanks again, everyone.

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