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owls at grouse mountain

Learn about our work with owls

owl talks

Included with your Mountain Admission ticket, Owl Talks are hosted by our wildlife specialists daily across from the Peak Chalet. Please check Today on Grouse for current Owl Talks times.


We also currently offer an online education program, Owls of Grouse Mountain. Featuring one of our Owl Ambassadors, the live virtual session teaches students about these amazing “silent-flying” raptors. Can an owl turn its head 360 degrees? Why are they called raptors? Do they really give a “hoot”? Learn these interesting answers and so much more.

Owls of Grouse Mountain

Meet our Owl Ambassadors

At Grouse Mountain we appreciate and respect wild places and wildlife. Our Refuge includes some outstanding owl ambassadors who help bring presence and reverence to their species. 

CLEO - BARN OWL

Cleo is a female Barn Owl (Tyto alba). She first came to Grouse Mountain in 2013 from Vancouver Island where she was hatched in captivity in 2009. In the 2018 season, Cleo did over 300 appearances to help educate our guests about Owls, their natural history and their conservation concerns. 

Barn owls are found all over the world, but in Canada they are only found in Southwestern BC and in Southern Ontario. They can often be found nesting or roosting in large wooden barns, riding arenas and old silos. Due to threats to their habitat in Canada (through urbanization of farm land), Barn Owls are now Endangered in Ontario and Threatened in British Columbia. Barn Owls are a species identified as priority for conservation and stewardship in Canada.
Odin Barred Owl

odin - barred owl

Odin is a male Barred Owl (Strix varia). He came to Grouse Mountain from the Northern Spotted Owl Captive Breeding Program in Langley, BC after being hatched in April 2019.

Barred Owls are a forest owl that can also nest in parks and urban areas. They are not typically shy around humans. Each year several Barred Owl chicks are raised at the Spotted Owl facility to help researches determine the best techniques for the rearing of the highly endangered Spotted Owls. Incubation times, hatching techniques, parenting methods are all important steps that the Barred Owls help us learn because of their close genetic relationship with the Spotted Owl. The Barred Owls as a species are very robust and have been expanding their range across North America in the last 100 years.

APOLLO - GREAT HORNED OWL

Apollo, a young male Great-horned owl, is the latest addition to our Owl Ambassador team. He came to Grouse Mountain in June of 2023 as a 3 month old owl born at an education facility in Ontario.

Great-horned Owls are our resident local owls here on Grouse Mountain with over a dozen of them calling our mountaintop home. By weight, they are the largest owls in Canada, and are perhaps the most aggressive. They are top level predators who feed on snowshoe hares, grouse and larger rodents such as squirrels and chipmunks. While they are most active at night, they can also hunt during the daytime with their large yellow eyes helping to deflect any bright light.

Listen for their calls around dusk on the mountaintop – they have a distinctive call that sounds like ‘Who’s awake, meeee tooo’ with two long notes at the end.

The Northern Spotted Owl

The Northern Spotted Owl is critically endangered in British Columbia with fewer than six Spotted Owls reported in the wild in the province. The Northern Spotted Owl is non-migratory bird that lives primarily in old-growth forests. Grouse Mountain’s Refuge for Endangered Wildlife has worked with the Spotted Owl Conservation and Breeding Centre and helps to build awareness through education programs. It is hoped that captive born owls can be released into protected areas so that natural populations can rebuild. If you would like to contribute to the program, please visit nsobreedingprogram.com

Living harmoniously with wildlife is possible. Understanding the implications of our human actions is a key step in ensuring that we maintain a diverse ecosystem. The natural world is a shared one – one that we hope includes Spotted Owls.