Great Horned Owls
Ruby and Rupert are brother and sister (and act like it!) They were hatched in captivity in 2014 as part of the International Owl Center's Great Horned Owl breeding project to study the vocalizations of Great Horned Owls. Their older siblings who hatched in 2013 (Pandora, Patrick, and Patience) were raised by their parents and after they had developed their adult vocalizations were released to the wild wearing tail-mounted transmitters so they could be tracked.
To compare the vocal development of parent-reared birds to that of human-reared birds, Ruby and Rupert were taken from their parents at two weeks of age when they needed to be banded and were thereafter raised with a lot of human attention so they could be comfortable educational ambassadors. Their vocalizations were tracked from the time they were in the egg and will continue to be tracked throughout their lifetime to see if they stay constant after their hormones kick in and as they age. Their molting pattern of their flight feathers will also be tracked and compared to our other Great Horned Owls.