Second ever Australian barn owl born in captivity in New Zealand

The barn owl chick is estimated to be three weeks old.
The barn owl chick is estimated to be three weeks old. Photo credit: Supplied

New Zealand's Australian barn owl population has increased by one after a chick was born at a Rotorua bird sanctuary.

The as yet unnamed bird was hatched at Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre to parents Tahi and Bubo.

The baby is only the second captive Australian barn owl bred in captivity in NZ.

It's not known whether the baby is a boy or a girl, but a feather sample sent off for DNA testing will soon provide the answer and it will be named by a sponsor.

Tahi and Bubo only met in 2017 after being rescued from the wild. Both birds were found injured and are unable to be released back into the wild.

A small wild population of the owls live in Northland and the birds have been called the 'farmers friend' as they mostly feed on small animals like rats and mice.

Newshub.