Owls are incredible creatures. They are nicknamed, “the nerd of the forest,” but it isn’t due to their intelligence. It is actually just a myth that owns are incredibly smart. There is an owl sanctuary in Gloucester, England, and one of their owls did something amazing. It was something that shocked everyone.
The sanctuary rescues owls that have been kept as pets or captive working birds. It is their goal to rehabilitate the owls. In total, they have 46 birds. Vincent Jones is the founder and trustee of the sanctuary. According to Vincent, they don’t focus on determining whether the owls are male or female. Their main goal is to help the owls who need it the most.
According to Vincent, sexing owls isn’t easy. On the outside, male and female owls have identical bodies. Unlike other mammals and other creatures, there is no visible difference in their genitalia. According to Vincent, when an owl comes in, and it behaves like a male, they say its a male. If it acts like a female, they call it a female.
According to Vincent, even genetic testing cannot determine if an owl is a male or a female. Female owls have Z and W chromosomes, and male birds have two Z chromosomes. Because the Z chromosomes look so similar to the W chromosomes, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two. Because of the cost of genetic testing, it isn’t really cost-effective since the results cannot be guaranteed.
Kaln is an eagle owl who has been living in the sanctuary for 23 years. From the moment that the owl arrived at the refuge, the handlers believed that he was male. The first reason they assumed that Klan was male was that male birds imprint on their human handlers, and they are treated like males. During the breeding season, Kaln’s handlers say that he was after every female in the sanctuary. This was yet another reason why they believed for 23 years that Klan was a male. The final reason was the fact that he didn’t lay eggs. According to the National Aviary, the Eurasian eagle owl females lay up to six eggs during one month in late winter. Since Klan was at the sanctuary for 23 winters and never laid an egg, they were sure that Klan was a male.
For years, Klan exhibited only the behavior of a male. This is why the staff at the sanctuary was so shocked when they checked on Klan was day and make a fantastic discovery. Handlers Thought This Owl Was Male for 23 Years —Then He Laid an Egg. The egg wasn’t fertilized, which meant that Klan wouldn’t become a mother to a baby chick, but the egg itself was a significant shock. Not once in 23-years did Klan ever show any signs that he was a female.
Before Klan laid the egg, the staff at the sanctuary were very worried about him. He was acting depressed and was showing signs of health issues. After he laid the egg, the team at the refuge assumed that his behavior wasn’t related to his laying of the egg, but his depression and health issues disappeared after he laid the egg. According to Vincent and his team, it was just a coincidence.
After Klan laid an egg, the team at the sanctuary refused to call him a female. He had been living in the sanctuary for so many years and was considered a male all that time; they weren’t going to change things. According to Vincent, owls are no different than people. There is no difference between males and females. They are just individuals. He says that Klan is an individual and he is special. Now they call him a tomboy.
According to Vincent, nothing has changed about Klan’s behavior since he laid the one egg. He still goes after the females in a sexual way, and he still behaves as if he were male. Many of the staff members are sure that Klan truly believes that he is a male, egg, or no egg.
As long as Klan remains healthy, the staff isn’t worried about whether he is actually a male or a female. He is still the same owl that arrived at the sanctuary 23 years earlier, and nothing has changed. His handlers say that Klan is Klan, and it will remain that way. Finding out why he hadn’t laid an egg in all these years isn’t their concern. Finding out his actual sex also isn’t their concern. Klan is a member of the family, and as long as he is happy and healthy, that is all they care about. The last thing they want is to subject Klan to a series of medical tests that he doesn’t need. They just want him to live a normal life the way that he has been doing for the last two decades that he has been living there.