10 Amazing Facts about Barn Owls!
Barn Owls eat mainly small mammals like voles, shrews and mice. Prey is often swallowed whole and indigestible parts are then regurgitated (coughed up) in the form of an owl pellet.
Barn Owls do not hoot – they screech.
The latin name for Barn Owl is Tyto alba alba.
Barn Owls have remarkably long legs, toes and talons enabling them to catch prey hidden at the base of deep vegetation.
When viewed from above Barn Owls are quite well camouflaged, as the rough grassland over which they usually hunt is predominantly light brown for most of the year. When viewed from below their white under sides are hard to see aginst the light of the sky.
Barn Owls hunt at night, and although they have very good eyesight, they rely mostly on their sense of hearing. Researchers found that in total blackness Barn Owls are still able to find the smallest of prey because of their excellent hearing.
Owl ears are located one higher than the other, which helps them to pinpoint tiny sounds.
During flight, the left ear captures sounds below while the right ear focuses on sounds from above.
The feathers on the edge of the Barn Owls’ face create a disc, which works to trap and focus sound, rather like our outer ears.
On average a wild Barn Owl eats about 4 small mammals per night, that’s 1,460 per year.