Veterinarians originally thought the babies were great horned owls, but something just didn’t add up. The owlets grew more feisty every day. That was the first clue that something was off.
Nikol Finch is the head of the school’s exotics and wildlife department. She noticed the owlets also seemed to be small, as juvenile great horned owls go.
“They’ve slowed down on growing a lot faster than a great horned owl would,” Finch said.
These baby owls were suffering an identity crisis.
Seeing nine great horned owlets together is pretty rare. Photos and videos of the little feather balls quickly disseminated around the web.
That’s when two owl experts wrote in to say those look a little more like Western screech owls. Screech owls, Finch said, are even more uncommon in the Palouse than great horned ones.
“I’ve never seen great horned owls this young, and I’ve never seen a screech owl even younger then a fledgling – they’ve always been to the point that they were flying on their own,” Finch said. “And then to suddenly get nine of them all at once is really, really unusual. Honestly, I would be surprised if it happens again in the next 20 years.”
The owls came from 2 separate nest when their nest were destroyed.