Barn Owl

That’s a Barn Owl. They have the color white and appear to be quite pale. Since they are uncommon, finding them is difficult. Read this blog to find out where they reside and what they eat.

Introduction

  • They have a pale personality, with black eyes.
  • They are white on the face, body, and underwings, with a mix of buff and gray on the back, upper wings, and head.
  • They may look completely white at night when seen.
  • Barn owls like abandoned barns, other structures, and dense trees to create their nests and roosts.

Scientific Name

Tyto alba

History

  • One reason why birds favor the vertical walls of man-made structures even above trees is that scientists think the barn owl’s original habitat was steep clay cliffs in Europe.
  • “Owning” a barn could provide additional benefits, especially in the winter. 

Physical Description 

Color

  • Overall, barn owls are pale, with black eyes.
  • They are white on the face, body, and underwings, with a mix of buff and gray on the back, upper wings, and head.
  • They may look completely white at night when seen.

Size

  • Its length from head to feet is about 25 cm.
  • Males typically weigh about 330g and females often weigh about 360g.

Wingspan

  • Its wingspan is about 85 cm.

Behavior 

Nocturnal Behavior

  • They are nocturnal predators that are ghostly pale and inactive during the day.
  • This owl is lanky, with a pale face, chest, belly, and buffy upper parts.
  • It spends the day roosting in secret, secluded locations.
  • They hunt at night in wide-open fields and meadows on buoyant wingbeats.

Feeding Behavior

  • They hunt by flying from a perch to the ground.
  • Has exceptional low-light vision, and its hearing is so accurate that it can hit prey in complete darkness.

Food & Diet

  • Barn Owl primarily eat rodents.
  • Voles are its main food source, but it also consumes other mammals such as baby rabbits, shrews, small rats, and mice. consumes only a very little amount of fish, frogs, insects, birds, and lizards.

Lifespan

  • Although they have been reported to live as long as 34 years, their normal lifespan is approximately two to four years.

Habitat & Range

  • They occupy open spaces, forest borders, clearings, farms, and urban areas.
  • For hunting, needs places with wide-open spaces.
  • It frequently nests in tree holes, rock crevices, or riverbanks.
  • Additionally, it nests in structures like barns. 

Barn Owl Sound

  • Instead of hooting like the majority of owls do, it scream for two seconds straight.
  • The male is the main maker, and he frequently calls repeatedly from the air.
  • Rarely do females make the call.
  • A purring call is a softer, wavier variation of this.

Reproduction & Mating Season

  • To create sperm, male owls’ testicles swell during the breeding season.
  • Sperm is then transferred from the male to the female cloaca by bringing the cloaca together and depositing the sperm across.
  • Mated pairs engage in a wild duet of cackles, hoots, caws, and gurgles when courting. 

Egg

  • Until their clutch is full, barn owls normally deposit an egg once every two to three days.
  • Compared to eggs laid last, those laid first have a head start and hatch sooner.
  • The egg-laying process takes place over several days, and females can deposit anywhere between 2 and 12 eggs.
  • Each egg takes roughly 30 days to hatch.
  • After roughly 15 weeks of parental care, the chicks depart the nest.

Barn Owl Tattoo

  • In Today’s world people have a great craze for tattoos of different styles. One of them is Barn Owl Tattoo.
  • The principle of seeing past illusions and lies is symbolized by their capacity to see in the dark. The owl is the source of great wisdom since it can see things that others cannot.

Barn Owl Running

  • By five weeks, they can run, jump, pounce, hiss, and click their tongues.
  • Their mobility increases.
  • They frequently turn their heads side to side, 360 degrees, and even upside down! Under the white fluffy down, the distinctive heart-shaped face can be seen, as well as the flight feathers.

Barn Owl Predators & Threats

  • Raccoons, opossums, and eagles eat barn owl eggs and young.
  • The great horned owl and the eagle owl, two different owl species, also feed on their barn owl cousins.
  • In terms of population decrease, this owl species is considered to be of Least Concern.
  • Worldwide, their populations are stable, however, there are recovery programs in places where barn owl populations are declining.

Population 

  • It is challenging to obtain a definite population estimate because of their extreme distribution.
  • However, there are thought to be between 4 million and 10 million barn owls worldwide, according to recent estimates.
  • The IUCN’s Red List rates this species as being of Least Concern.
  • Although their populations are largely constant, the major concern to these owls is the decline of their habitat.
  • Giving barn owls facilities to raise their young, such as nesting boxes, is the best method to safeguard them.

Barn Owl in The Zoo 

  • These owls now reside in many zoos all around the country.
  • One of these owls is housed in the Wings of the World exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio.
  • There are other zoos, such as the San Francisco Zoo in California, the Pittsburgh Zoo in Pennsylvania, and the Cosley Zoo in Indiana.
  • Wherever you are, there is probably a barn owl at a nearby zoo or wildlife preserve.
  • There are approximately 970 of these owls in zoos around the world.
  • As a result of rescue efforts, many of these owls end themselves in zoos where they can live out their lives.
  • After being saved, Dawn and Dusk, the resident owls at the Belfast Zoo, got their forever homes.
  • Another barn owl, Bubo-no-no, was saved as a baby by the Hawaiian Electric Company and later found a permanent home at the Honolulu Zoo.
  • Zoos are frequently essential for breeding and rehabbing owls that might not survive in the wild.

Fun Facts

  • Barn owl ladies are a little more colorful than males. She has a chest that is more reddish and extensively speckled. The quality of the female may be revealed by the spots. Females with a lot of spots may experience fewer parasitic flies and have higher resistance to illnesses and parasites.
  • The Barn Owl can easily locate prey by sight at night thanks to its outstanding low-light eyesight. However, compared to other tested animals, it has the best capacity to detect prey just by sound.
  • The oldest known North American Barn Owl was at least 15 years and 5 months old when it passed away in Ohio.

Reference Link

Barn Owl-FAQ

How big is a Barn owl?

They are smaller than a Red-tailed Hawk, being 32-40 cm (13-16 in) height. 

How did the Barn Owl get its name?

Since the barn owl does not hoot like most other owls, one of its most distinguishing characteristics is its eerie screeches. These owls acquire their name because they spend their nights sleeping in abandoned barns.

What sound does Owl make?

Adult owls may scream to defend the nest, while young owls may scream piercingly when begging for food. Other sounds made by adults include coos, whistles, barks, shrieks, hisses, and wavering cries.

What does Barn Owl eats?

They mostly feed on small animals, including shrews, bats, and rabbits in addition to rats, mice, voles, and other rodents. Squirrels and chipmunks are reasonably safe from Barn Owls because most of the animals they consume are active at night. They occasionally consume birds like meadowlarks, starlings, and blackbirds.

What is special about a Barn Owl?

It can easily locate prey by sight at night thanks to its outstanding low-light eyesight. However, compared to other tested animals, it has the best capacity to detect prey just by sound. In the lab, it can trap mice in full darkness, whereas outdoors, it can catch mice while being concealed by snow or foliage.