Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox every week.      
The Kid Should See This

The Orphan Owl

Watch more with these video collections:

While on lockdown with her mother in Ribadavia, Spain, wildlife filmmaker Ana Salceda discovered a baby barn owl who had fallen from its nest. It was “an unlikely companion during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Salceda took the weakened raptor to bird rehabilitation expert Pablo Rodríguez Oitabén, who nursed the owlet back to health with a few months of shelter, freshly-dead rodent meals, and acclimation to the local landscape. They named the bird Alba.

See this little barn owl’s journey from discovery to rehabilitation and release in this clip from PBS Nature. Plus, more about the species from Wikipedia:

The chicks are at first covered with greyish-white down and develop rapidly. Within a week they can hold their heads up and shuffle around in the nest. The female tears up the food brought by the male and distributes it to the chicks. Initially these make a “chittering” sound but this soon changes into a food-demanding “snore”. By two weeks old they are already half their adult weight and look naked as the amount of down is insufficient to cover their growing bodies.

baby orphan barn owl

By three weeks old, quills are starting to push through the skin and the chicks stand, making snoring noises with wings raised and tail stumps waggling, begging for food items which are now given whole. The male is the main provider of food until all the chicks are at least four weeks old at which time the female begins to leave the nest and starts to roost elsewhere.

By the sixth week the chicks are as big as the adults but have slimmed down somewhat by the ninth week when they are fully fledged and start leaving the nest briefly themselves. They are still dependent on the parent birds until about thirteen weeks and receive training from the female in finding, and eventually catching prey.

growing barn owl
Watch more owl videos and more rescue videos, including:
Imping an injured owl’s wing to make it stronger
• Rescuing a tiny, orphaned, newborn two-toed sloth
• Baby orangutan Peanut doesn’t want to climb the ropes
• Releasing Rocky the eagle back into the wild

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Slow motion wonder: Eurasian Eagle Owl landing

Rion Nakaya

Raccoon Baby Rescue, Rehydration, and Reunion

Rion Nakaya

Running with a recovering baby rhinoceros

Rion Nakaya

The silent flight superpower of a stealthy predator: The Owl

Rion Nakaya

Dissecting owl pellets and cleaning the bones

Rion Nakaya

Joel Sartore‘s Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species

Rion Nakaya

A tour of Colorado’s Wild Animal Sanctuary

Rion Nakaya

Barn Owls: The Secret Saviors of Napa Valley’s Vineyards

Rion Nakaya

The Burrowing Owl’s Cozy Underground Home

Rion Nakaya