When comes to breathtaking sights, Mother Nature is definitely the best place to look. Whether albinos or melanistic, the rarest occurrences among wild animals are undoubtedly the most fascinating. Speaking of very rare sights, you should know that not only melanistic mammals make outstanding presences, but birds as well and this black barn owl is surely on top the list.
Although the barn owls can be spotted very often as they are a widely distributed species, it is not every day you see a black barn owl. In fact, a black barn owl can only occur one in 100,000. But unfortunately, their incredible looking comes with a cost. Due to their rare condition, they cannot survive in the wilderness.
These magnificent owls own their unusual feathers color to melanism, which is a rare genetical condition that can affect nearly every animal species on Earth, from mammals to birds or even reptiles. Unlikely albinism, which leads to the lack of skin pigmentation, melanism result in a excessive black pigmentation.
Even though extremely cute, animals that suffer of melanism are frequently rejected by their groups. Sadly, that’s what happens in the black barn owls, too. Their very unusual coloring is confusing even their own mother, and they are eventually kicked out of the nest, when they’re only chicks.
Because of that, the chances to spot a black barn owl are even lower. To better understand it, think about that there are only three black barn owls in the UK, and they all live in captivity. Among them – Sable, a young rescued black owl that lives with the Baroness Sasa Vonbarth und Kippenruer.
“The parents think that because a chick is not white they shouldn’t feed it,” explained the Baroness, who runs a rescue charity. “Sable is very peculiar.However, if she got out into the wild she’d be gone within 12 hours.”
Though every animal lover out there strongly disagrees that living in captivity isn’t an option for any wild being, unfortunately in this case it is the only one. Like many other melanistic animals, black barn owls also have a very poor eyesight and they can also get hearing problems.
In the video below, you can admire Dusk, a majestic black barn owl. Take a peek: