For the first time in more than 20 years a rare barn owl nest has been documented in Wisconsin. The nest was first discovered in September after a young barn owl fell out of a dead tree in a La Crosse resident’s backyard. The Wisconsin DNR reports that an official from the International Owl Center located in Houston, MN came over to investigate. Using a scope, the nest was located inside the dead tree with two barn owls and three owlets inside. The species was put on Wisconsin’s endangered species list in the 1980’s, but few nests were located in the state, and it was eventually removed from the list by the DNR due to a lack of records. The last barn owl nest documented in Wisconsin was in 1999 in Grant County. The DNR credits the nest box programs in surrounding states along with the warmer winters for the slight increase in barn owl sightings in Wisconsin. If an annual breeding rate is found in the state, the species could be put back on the Wisconsin Endangered and Threatened Species list.

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