Short-eared owls are on Indiana’s endangered list which means their prospect “for survival or recruitment within the state are in immediate jeopardy and are in danger of disappearing from” Indiana. We are fortunate to have two Short-eared Owls as education birds so we can tell people the importance of raptors and protecting their environment.
Sherman came from our friend, wildlife rehabber Ken Groves and is one of our original three education birds. Sherman had an encounter with an airplane and did not fare well. Short-eared Owls hunt in open fields and plains, so it is no surprise that they like to hunt in the well groomed areas around the planes’ runways. Fortunately for Sherman he didn’t die in the encounter, but he did lose part of the end of one wing. He was added to our education permit in 2008.
Sherman shares his mew (flight pen) with two friends: Amelia, another short-Eared Owl, and Mr. Peabody, a Barred Owl. Short-eared owls like to nest on the ground, so he and Amelia have two shelters close to the ground in which they like to perch together.
We do not know if Sherman is actually a male. There is not much size difference between Sherman and Amelia (males are smaller) so they could easily be the same sex! Sherman has a slightly nervous personality, but does well once he is on the glove for presentations. Short-eared Owls are named for small tufts of feathers on the top of their head that they stick straight up when they are relaxed. So watch for the ear tufts to see how relaxed he is or isn’t!