Meet Small Eyes
Small Eyes hatched at the Northern Spotted Owl Breeding Program (NSOBP) in 2009, the second owl to hatch at the facility. She was born with bilateral microphthalmia, a disorder of the eye where both eyes are abnormally small. This condition, combined with cataracts, means that Small Eyes is visually impaired.
Due to her disability, Small Eyes could not bond with a male owl and join the breeding population. In 2019, NSOBP staff trained Small Eyes to be an educational ambassador for her species.
In many ways, Small Eyes is a true matriarch of the NSOBP, a strong female that is sharing and preserving the story of spotted owls in Canada. She captures the hearts of people across the Greater Vancouver area at community events, bridging the gap between humans and wildlife in a way that no other owl could. Her gentle nature and presence have inspired many to take action in supporting the recovery of spotted owls.
Small Eyes is the only glove-trained northern spotted owl in Canada. Her role is pivotal and reminds us that sometimes what may be considered a limitation is ultimately an extraordinary gift.
Follow our social media pages to find out where Small Eyes will be next! She also has her own Instagram account @smalleyestheowl.