Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Farewell Tobin

Members of the World Bird Sanctuary staff were saddened last week by the sudden loss of our nine-year-old European Barn Owl, Tobin.
Upon noticing that he was acting “not quite right” one evening we started him on a course of  preventative antibiotics until we could get him to the vet in the morning.  However, by the next morning it was obvious that he was in severe distress and before we could get him to the vet he passed on. 

Animals in the wild have perfected the ability to mask symptoms of illness to protect themselves from becoming prey for the many predators who are very adept at picking off the sick and injured.  This “masking” ability sometimes makes it extremely difficult to spot problems in captive animals (even dogs and cats), until it is too late, even for our sharp-eyed and ever vigilant naturalists.

Results of a necropsy indicated that Tobin succumbed to heart failure—probably due to his age.  At the age of nine he had long outlived his wild brethrens’ normal lifespan of 3-4 years. 
Tobin, wowing a group of school children at one of our Raptor Awareness programs
Tobin was one of our most popular Barn Owls, performing for thousands of children and adults each year in our outreach programs.  He was definitely one of the stars of our Raptor Awareness program and a favorite of staff and visitors.  He will be sorely missed.

Submitted by Gay Schroer, Volunteer/Photographer


Greg said...

I am truly saddened by the passing of Tobin. Tobin was the very first member of the World Bird Sanctuary that I had the pleasure to meet. It was at an even where Mr. Crawford was speaking and Tobin was soaring over. Well not too high as the tip of one of his wings brushed my forehead as he passed by. From that point on I was hooked. My family and I always made it a point to see Tobin in our many visits, and it was a true pleasure to have met him and have my children appreciate what everyone at the World Bird Sanctuary does. He was always the highlight of my visits to the World Bird Sanctuary and will truly be missed.

Farewell Tobin,

Birdgirl90 said...

I will always remember Tobin as my baby. The past few times I came back to visit, he was out doing his show thing. I will always love him, and remember him.

Fly high, Tobin.


Penny said...

I am fascinated by barn owls - such exceptional beauty! I keep hope alive that one will nest in our rarely-used barn! How are European different from American?

Photog said...

@ Penny - Your question was so thought provoking that it spurred me to do quite a bit of research about the differences between the 20-30 different subspecies of Barn Owls. The short answer is that there are differences in the shades of their feathers, depending on their habitat and range. Barn Owls inhabit almost every land area in the world except the polar and desert regions. Keep an eye on this blog for a more in-depth discussion about some of the different subspecies found worldwide.