HomeOutdoorsViralBaby Barn Owl Has Best Reaction to Hearing Thunder for the First Time: VIDEO

Baby Barn Owl Has Best Reaction to Hearing Thunder for the First Time: VIDEO

by Caitlin Berard
Barn Owl Hiding in a Hollow Tree
(Photo by Alan Walker via Getty Images)

Just as thunderstorms can be a frightening experience for human children, babies of the animal kingdom aren’t born with an innate understanding of the earth-rattling rumbles either. Take it from this baby barn owl, who nearly jumped out of her feathers at the terrifying sounds of the approaching storm.

To obtain the adorable footage, UK-based wildlife artist and filmmaker Robert Fuller hid a camera inside a nesting box, where the owlet and her family later made their home. In doing so, Fuller captured each of the baby barn owl’s heartwarming “firsts,” one of which was her first thunderstorm.

Without her parents to comfort her, the owlet was forced to contend with the summer storm all on her own, a feat she very clearly would have passed on, given the opportunity.

As the storm rolled through the forest, the baby owl first looked around with interest at the strange droplets of water falling from the sky. The first thunderclap, however, had her backing against the wall of her nest in fright, staring up at the sky as though it might fall on her – for all she knew, it could have!

“It was surprising to see how scared the chick was,” Fuller told The Dodo. “It would be especially loud for the chick given that the hearing of the barn owl is so much more sensitive than ours.”

According to Fuller, the tiny barn owl made it through the frightening night and has since grown into adulthood, no longer hiding in her nest from the wonders of the world – even the spooky ones. “The chick has now fledged and is doing very well,” he said.

Barn Owls Have Some of the Best Ears in the Animal Kingdom

Of all the many creatures of the animal kingdom, owls beat most in terms of sense of hearing. And of the 200+ owl species in the world, the barn owl possesses the best hearing of all.

The ultra-sensitive hearing of a barn owl ranges from around 200 Hz up to 12kHz. To put that into perspective, the average hearing range for a human is between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. And it’s not just the wide range of noises that make the barn owl’s hearing so powerful.

Unlike other owls, barn owls have a pronounced concave facial disk created by the feathers framing their faces. These disks essentially operate as satellite dishes, enhancing and collecting sound more efficiently than open air. As such, the little owlet not only heard a greater range of noises coming from the storm but the thunder was far louder for her than it would be for a human.

The owl’s sharp hearing created some scary moments in her early life. As an adult, however, it’s one of the most powerful tools in her hunting arsenal. Her powerful ears allow her to pinpoint the exact location of her prey in the dark of night, which she’ll swoop down and capture with lethal precision using her silent but powerful wings.