Species: Tyto alba, Barn Owl  •  Born: 2004   •  Gender: Male  •  Disability: Human Imprint

During the early years of the AEF, a few pair of breeder barn owls were acquired from the World Bird Sanctuary in Missouri. From these pairs, many owlets were hatched and released into the wild to strengthen the barn owl population. The AEF was licensed to keep a few of the owlets for educational purposes.

Jupiter was hatched at the American Eagle Foundation in 2004, and was chosen to be an educational ambassador.  He sometimes performed in the Wings of America Birds of Prey show and was a great ambassador to his species. Jupiter was a stunningly beautiful bird and was a favorite of our caregivers and visitors.

In later years, Jupiter’s arthritis became more severe and increasingly painful. As his quality of life could not be improved, a decision to humanely euthanize him was made by Dr. Jones and the staff at UT Veterinary Medical Center along with our avian team, and he passed away peacefully on September 19, 2019.

We are privileged to have known this beautiful bird who was dearly loved by his caregivers and will be greatly missed, especially by Jenna Penland, his primary handler.


The Barn Owl has several different names, such as the heart-faced owl, the monkey-faced owl, and the ghost owl.  They are nocturnal, meaning that they are very active at night. Their name comes from the fact that they like to live in barns and other man-made structures. Barn Owls have excellent hearing and vision, and, because of their especially soft feathers, they have the ability of ‘silent flight.’  There are over 225 owl species in the world, divided into two families: Barn owls with their distinct heart-shaped facial disks make up the Tytonidae family, while all other owl species are in the Strigidae or typical owl family.