Loveland, Ohio – Shannon Russell Pennington is the Staff Naturalist with the Warren County Park District and tells Loveland Magazine the District had a potential sighting of a barn owl near Davis and Rich Roads. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is interested in tracking this threatened species. She said, “So I was wondering if anyone else has seen or heard one recently. If so, we may be able to get some nest boxes installed by ODNR nearby.”
There’s a sample of its call here: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Barn_Owl
All About Birds says that you might find them by “listening for their eerie, raspy calls, quite unlike the hoots of other owls.”
“If any of your readers have seen or heard this bird, or know where it might be nesting, can you please let me know? This would be an exciting discovery for our area,” said Russell Pennington.
The bird has been spotted in White Pines and Columbia Farm neighborhood.
Russell Pennington added, “A couple of other people have chimed in that they have seen it near Nisbet Park in Downtown Loveland as well.” She is trying to pinpoint locations of sightings so they can give ODNR the most accurate information she can gather.
“I’ve had sixteen people get in touch so far, saying they’ve either heard it or seen it in the area. I’m going to reach out to ODNR tomorrow and see exactly what info they would like people to report. For now, feel free to have people reach out to me, Shannon Russell Pennington, Warren County Park District Naturalist, at MotherNaturesClassroom@gmail.com.”
She is currently keeping a list of where and when it has been observed. “If anyone has pictures, video, or a sound recording of it, that would be very helpful for documentation,” said Russell Pennington.
Use this resource from All About Birds to help identify the barn owl.
Barn Owl – Tyto alba
Perhaps no other animal is more a part of folklore and superstition than the owl, and it is likely the behavior of the barn owl is one of the reasons. The barn owl likes to haunt old buildings like barns, church steeples or abandoned houses. In reality, having a barn owl roosting nearby is more helpful than haunting. While barn owls may be no wiser than the average bird, they are good at catching mice and other small rodents that can sometimes be a problem for people. You may have never seen a barn owl; they are nocturnal hunters, flying at dark over Ohio farm country in search of prey. Barn owls are rare in Ohio and are listed as a threatened species.
Ohio Status: Threatened