Saturday, 14 February 2015

Day 105 - Beautiful Barn Owls

Barn Owl (Tuto Albus) looking for food
Hi all today's Day 105, and today I have a lovely owl for you which I don't see very often but are one of my favourite birds. I love to see them hunting. As you can see from the title and the pictures I am talking about the Barn Owl. I've seen them most often in Norfolk but am off hunting for them on Monday in a spot Mum and Dad found not far from me where they got these pictures.

I love these birds and I think it's time to get on with the facts:
  • Barn Owls look lovely with their heart-shaped face but this is for a reason. The face acts like our inner-ears and directs sound towards their ears which makes them better hearers than they would be. You can see their heart-shaped face in the picture to the right.
Barn Owl in flight
  • They are white birds with brown wings and head. Their Latin name refers to all the white on their body. Tuto means 'an owl' and Albus means white. Altogether this means 'A white owl'.
  • Barn Owls have many local names which are, 'Yellow Owl', 'White Owl', 'Screech Owl', 'Billy Wix' and 'Ginny Ollit'.
  • Their name 'Screech Owl' probably comes from their call. It is basically just a panicked scream. This easily heard from the video below.

  • They are an Amber Status because they have been on the rise slightly (after declining since the 1930's).
  • ...Adding to this there are 4,000 breeding pairs in the UK which are shortly joined by another 4,500-17,000 wintering birds.
Taking off from its vantage point
  • Barn Owls have over 30 subspecies which are distributed world-wide. Here in the UK there are only 2 subspecies of Barn Owl, the White Barn Owl (the one I am covering today) and the Portia Barn Owl.
  • They are 36cm in length with an 89cm wingspan. Both male and female Barn Owls weigh 300g.
  • They have an expected life span of 4 years but the oldest Barn Owl ever was 15 years and 26 days old.
  • Their diet consists of small mammals such as field voles, shrews and mice. In tomorrow's post I will disect a Barn Owl pellet to see more deeply what they eat.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


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