Owls are common in rural areas, and barns provide an ideal home for these nocturnal birds. Barn owls are easily recognizable by their heart-shaped face and white underside. While they benefit farmers by preying on small rodents, barn owls also make wonderful backyard pets. If you’re lucky enough to have a blue barn owl living near you, take advantage of seeing this beautiful bird up close.
Here are the 15 amazing facts about barn owls
1. BARN OWLS ARE FOUND AROUND THE WORLD
Barn owls are found on every continent except Antarctica. They live in a wide range of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and deserts. Barn owls are adaptable birds, and they are often able to live close to human populations. Barn owls are nocturnal predators and use their excellent hearing to locate prey.
Barn owls typically eat small mammals, such as rodents and shrews. Some barn owls will also eat reptiles, amphibians, and birds. Barn owls typically nest in trees or cliffs but use artificial structures like barns and buildings. Barn owls are most active at night but may also be seen hunting during the day.
Barn owls are medium-sized birds, and they have long legs and wings. Barn owls have a distinctive appearance, with white facial disks surrounding their dark eyes. Barn owls are admirable hunters and play an important role in controlling populations of small mammals.
2. BARN OWLS LIVE IN ALL SORTS OF HABITATS
All around the world, you can find Barn Owls living in all sorts of habitats, from dense tropical forests to semi-deserts, from sea coasts to mountains. They have even been found living on the Arctic tundra.
So long as there are some trees or other places to nest and plenty of small mammals to eat, a Barn Owl will be happy. Because they have such a wide range of habitat requirements, Barn Owls are one of the most widespread owl species in the world. You can find them on every continent except Antarctica.
Wherever they live, Barn Owls prefer open grasslands with some trees or other structures nearby where they can roost or nest. This combination of habitat features is often found near farmland, making this one of the most important habitat types for Barn Owls. However, many other habitats can support Barn Owls if they have enough small mammals to eat.
For example, in North America, Barn Owls have adapted to hunting rodents in cities and towns, taking advantage of the large populations of mice and rats in these places. This has allowed them to expand their range into urban areas where there are few natural sites for them to nest.
Similarly, in Europe, Barn Owls have adapted to hunting rabbits in open landscapes such as heathland and moorland and prey species such as voles that live among dense vegetation.
3. BARN OWLS DO LIKE BARNS
Barn owls are attracted to barns for a variety of reasons. First of all, barns provide a source of food. Rodents and other small mammals are attracted to the warmth and shelter of a barn, and barn owls will often take up residence to take advantage of this abundance of prey. Secondly, barn owls like the smell of barns.
The scent of hay and other animals attracts them to these structures. Finally, barn owls feel safe in barns. The high ceilings and open spaces give them a sense of security, and the lack of predators makes these ideal structures places to nest and raise their young.
Of course, not every barn owl will choose to live in a barn. Some owls prefer more natural environments, such as forests or grasslands. However, for those owls that do choose to live in barns, it is clear that these structures offer a number of benefits. And so, the next time you see a barn owl perched on a beam or flying through an open door, remember that these creatures are just doing what comes naturally.
4. BARN OWLS NEST IN A VARIETY OF PLACES
Barn Owls typically nest in trees, but they will also nest in other places, such as caves, old buildings, cliffs, and abandoned nests of other birds. Barn Owls are cavity nesters, meaning they rely on holes or cavities to build their nests.
They do not build their nests but will instead use ones built by other animals or naturally occurring. This makes them one of the few owl species that does not require a specific habitat type to nest successfully. Barn Owls are generally found near open areas where they can hunt for their main food source: small mammals. This could explain why they are often nestled in barns and other outbuildings where potential prey is abundant.
Barn Owls are nocturnal hunters and use their exceptional hearing to locate their prey in the dark. Their diet consists primarily of voles, mice, shrews, and other small mammals. Barn Owls are fascinating birds, and their ability to adapt to various nesting sites is just one of the many things that make them unique.
5. BARN OWLS OFFER PEST CONTROL
Barn owls are superb hunters that can help to keep your property free of pests. These birds of prey are equipped with sharp talons and powerful beaks that enable them to take down rodents, snakes, and even large insects. Moreover, barn owls are nocturnal creatures that are most active at night, when many pests are also active.
Thus, you can enjoy around-the-clock pest control by simply having a barn owl on your property. Of course, attracting a barn owl to your property is not always easy. These birds are very shy and tend to avoid areas that humans heavily traffic. However, if you take steps to make your property more hospitable to these birds, you may be rewarded with the presence of a barn owl and the peace of mind that comes with knowing your property is protected from pests.
6. RODENTS AREN’T THE ONLY PART OF A BARN OWL’S DIET
They are most often associated with rodents. Barn owls have a very diverse diet. In addition to rodents, barn owls eat lizards, frogs, fish, snakes, and insects. Barn owls can find their prey using their excellent eyesight and sense of hearing. They can also fly quietly, which helps them sneak up on their unsuspecting prey. Barn owls typically eat whatever is most available to them, which is why their diet can vary so much from one location to another.
7. BARN OWLS ARE SILENT FLIERS
Barn owls are silent fliers because of their special feathers. Barn owls have very soft feathers that are serrated on the leading edge. The Barn owl’s outer feather is very stiff, while the inner feather is very soft. This combination helps to muffle the noise made by the Barn owl’s wings as they fly.
In addition, Barn owls have a specially adapted wing shape that also helps to reduce noise. Barn owls can fly up to speeds of 30 miles per hour and can even fly backward! Their silent flying ability makes them excellent hunters who can approach their prey without being detected. So, the next time you see a barn owl, take a moment to appreciate the amazing adaptation that allows these birds to fly so silently.
8. BARN OWLS DON’T CHEW THEIR FOOD
For starters, barn owls don’t chew their food. Instead, they have a highly efficient hunting strategy that involves swallowing their prey whole and later regurgitating the indigestible parts, like bones and fur. This strategy allows barn owls to digest their food more quickly and return to hunting sooner. Barn owls also have special adaptations that help them to hunt in low-light conditions. Their eyes are large and forward-facing, giving them excellent binocular vision.
9. BARN OWL NESTS ARE MADE OUT OF PELLETS
Pellets are small, round disks of undigested food that owls regurgitate. Barn owls typically eat small mammals, such as rodents, and their prey’s bones, fur, and feathers collect in the owl’s stomach. When the owl is ready to digest its food, it will regurgitate the indigestible parts in the form of a pellet. Barn owls will then use these pellets to build their nests.
A barn owl can use anywhere from one to several hundred pellets depending on the nest size. So next time you see a barn owl nest, remember that it is made of regurgitated food.
10. BARN OWLS STORE FOOD FOR LATER
It’s true! These amazing birds are known for their hunting skills, and they often cache their prey so they can have a meal when they’re ready. This behavior is called hoarding, and it’s a great way for barn owls to make sure they always have something to eat.
When a barn owl finds a good spot to cache its food, it will often bring back more prey and add it to the pile. Over time, this can create a large stockpile of food that the barn owl can access whenever it’s hungry. So next time you see a barn owl, remember that it’s not just an expert hunter it’s also a savvy food stockpiler.
11. MALE BARN OWLS IMPRESS FEMALES WITH FLIGHT DISPLAYS
When it comes to winning the heart of a potential mate, male barn owls put on quite a show. In addition to hooting and screeching to get the female’s attention, the male will perform an aerial display consisting of dives, swoops, and runs. This performance is meant to impress the female and demonstrate the male’s hunting skills.
Studies have shown that females prefer males who put on more impressive displays and that these displays are often correlated with higher breeding success. So next time you see a barn owl in flight, remember that he’s not just showing off he’s trying to impress a lady.
12. FEMALE BARN OWLS ARE OFTEN MORE COLORFUL THAN MALES
Female barn owls are often more colorful than males. The males will often be a lighter color, while the females will be bolder and more vibrant. The color difference can help the owls camouflage themselves when hunting.
The male barn owl is typically about two-thirds the size of the female. The female barn owl is also generally more aggressive than the male and will take over the nest if the male cannot hunt enough to support the family.
In some cases, the female will kill the male if she feels he is not adequately providing for her and their young. Although the males are typically smaller and less aggressive, they play an important role in helping to care for the young. Male barn owls will often help to feed the chicks and keep them safe while the female is out hunting. While both sexes of barn owls are important to the species’ survival, it is clear that the females play a more significant role in reproduction and childcare.
13. THE MORE SPOTS, THE BETTER
Interestingly, the more spots an owl has, the more likely it is to find a mate. Studies have shown that female barn owls prefer males with more spots, and there seems to be a correlation between spotting patterns and genetic fitness. So if you’re lucky enough to spot a barn owl in the wild, take a close look at its chest. You might just be looking at one of nature’s true love stories.
14. BARN OWLS HAVE THEIR OWN TAXONOMY FAMILY
The scientific name for the barn owl is Tyto alba. The barn owl is a member of the order Strigiformes, which includes all owls. The barn owl is in the family Tytonidae. Barn owls hunt by listening to rodents moving underground and then swooping to capture them. The BIRD CODE for the barn owl is T alba. BARN OWLS HAVE THEIR OWN TAXONOMY FAMILY.
15. BARN OWLS CAN HUNT IN TOTAL DARKNESS
Their eyes are specially adapted to help them see in low light and at night. Their eyes are so big that they take up about as much room in their skulls as our eyes do. And unlike our eyes, which have round pupils, their pupils are shaped like slits. This design allows them to open their eyes very wide, which lets in more light.
They also have a reflective layer behind the retina, which helps to bounce light back into the eye and makes it easier to see in dim conditions. Combined, these adaptations give barn owls an incredibly sharp sense of vision, which helps them to hunt for prey even in total darkness.
Barn owls are amazing creatures with a lot of interesting features. They are perfect for those who want to get into bird watching as they are easy to find and observe. With their characteristic heart-shaped face and ghostly appearance, barn owls are sure to capture your attention and leave you wanting more. If you’re looking for an owl that is slightly less common than the great horned owl or barred owl, the barn owl is a great choice!
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