WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- An eagle owl who has been staying at a sanctuary in Gloucester, England for 23 years just laid an egg.
- The handlers were shocked as they thought Kaln was a male for the entire 23 years he’s been there.
- The egg wasn’t fertilized so that means no baby owl for Kaln but still, it was a big surprise to all of Kaln’s handlers.
An eagle owl who has been staying at a sanctuary in Gloucester, England for 23 years just laid an egg. For the entire 23 years, the handlers thought Kaln was a male. Until it laid an egg, Vincent Jones, founder and trustee of the sanctuary, said.
However, the egg wasn’t fertilized, so there will be no baby owl for Kaln.
Identifying an owl’s sex is tricky because males and females outwardly have more or less identical bodies, according to a study published in the Journal of Heredity. There’s no obvious difference even between their genitals.
Jones added that the sanctuary is not interested in the biological sexes of the birds it takes in. Most of them are rescued and the sanctuary doesn’t breed captive owls, they just rehabilitate them.
“We have 46 birds,” Jones said. “If they have the behavior of a male, we say they’re male. If they have the behavior of a female, we say they’re female.”
Eurasian eagle owl females lay up to six eggs across a month-long period in late winter, according to the National Aviary. Kaln never did that though in his 23 years at the sanctuary, Jones said.
Most of the male birds in the sanctuary “imprint” on their human handlers and treat them as mates, added Jones. During the breeding season, “Kaln always wants to bonk everything,” he said.
He added that laying an egg hasn’t changed how the sanctuary sees Kaln.
“It’s no different than people. There’s no difference between male and female. We’re all individuals,” he said. “Kaln is an individual. He’s a very special individual. Now we say he’s a tomboy.”
The bigger concern is that around the same time the owl laid its egg, it started to appear “depressed” and displayed some health issues.
Jones said that Kaln’s since recovered and looked more active and upbeat now.
“And that’s what really matters, isn’t it? The health of the owl,” Jones said.
Source: Live Science