Cape May Zoo’s New Residents Are a Hoot…They’re Owls
There are two new residents at the Cape May Zoo. Who-who-who?
Okay, so I broke out the oldest joke in the world to tell you that the Cape May Zoo is celebrating the arrival of two new owls to their owl habitat.
But these owls are special - they are Eurasian Eagle-Owls, one of the largest owl species in the world, with a wingspan over 6 feet wide and very distinctive orange eyes.
Their powerful yet silent wings enable them to swoop down and scoop up prey. They can even catch other birds in mid-air.
The new owls, Quasimodo, a 4-year old male and 12-year old female Esmerelda, were just transferred from a zoo in Illinois in the hope that they might have better luck breeding at Cape May Zoo.
As their name implies, Eurasian Eagle-Owls are found throughout much of Europe, but also in Asia and other parts of the world.
They live in a variety of wooded habitats but also seem to do well anywhere they can find nesting spots and adequate prey. These large, beautiful owls have even been documented living in city parks, according to peregrinefund.org.
The source says Eurasian Eagle-owls are mostly nocturnal or active at night. They spend their days roosting or resting in a safe perch. If they spend too much time on the ground, even these top predators may fall prey to opportunistic ground predators like foxes.
It is believed that these owls can live to be around 20 years old in the wild.
Over the last 100 years, their populations have declined drastically, and the hope is that Quasimodo and Esmerelda may help in a population rebound while staying at Cape May Zoo.
The new eagle-owls can be seen daily from 10 am to 4:30 pm at the Cape May Zoo.