Birds

Barn Owl
Key Features
  • Acute hearing lets it locate mice and voles in total darkness by the faint noises they make while moving or eating
  • Superbly sensitive binocular vision allows it to spot small mammals on the ground by day or in dim light
  • Flies silently the soft, comblike tips of its wings and its feathered legs muffle wind noise
  • Where
    In open grasslands, wetlands and semidesert in North and South America, the Caribbean, central and southern Europe, much of Australasia and Africa; absent from the far north and much of Asia and Antarctica
    Did You Know
  • After eating, a barn owl coughs up pellets containing undigested parts of prey, such as bones and skull. If pellets are soaked in water for two hours, they may be pried apart to reveal the contents.
  • The barn owl preys mainly on shrews, voles and mice; prey items recorded from around the world include blind moles, gerbils, hamsters, chameleons, crickets and hawk-moths.
  • Conservation
    The barn owl isn't endangered, although in many countries it has suffered from poisons used to kill rodents; many also die on roadsides, blinded by headlights.The owl is a valuable ally to the farmer, helping control vermin, but nest sites are disappearing with the steady "tidying" of the countryside.
    Order : Strigiformes
    Genus Species : Tyto alba
    Family : Tytonidae
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