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 Barn Owl  (Tyto alba)





The Barn Owl is a common resident throughout Europe (except Scandinavia), southern Asia, the whole of Africa, and the warmer parts of North and South America and Australia.
This bird is very dependant on a plentiful supply of small rodents, and large, chemically sprayed fields where a single crop covers many hectares with no hedgerow, are a serious threat to its existence. In this country numbers are severely depleted, and only a rethink of farming methods can bring it back. To release large numbers of barn owls into the wild is to condemn them to possible starvation. For that reason one needs a license to do it.


Barn Owls in Britain are the world's fussiest eaters.
They eat a number of small mammals - mice, voles etc., but their preferred food by far is short tailed field voles.
Our modern farming methods are very good at over-producing grain, but at the expense of wildlife habitat. If there are no hedgerows for the field voles to hide in, there will be no voles. If there are no field voles, there will be no barn owls.


The Barn Owl is known by a number of other names worldwide. We know it as the barn owl because it has, for some time, made its home in barns. It is known in some countries as the screech owl, which refers to its call.
Far from the plaintive hooting of the Tawny Owl, the Barn Owl's call is basically a loud hissing, with occasional screech- or scream-like noises. These however occur only when threatened, angered or as part of a pre-mating ritual.
The young use a similar hissing call to direct Mum and Dad in with the food!

Status and behaviour in the wild

The Barn Owl typically makes its nest in old barns, church steeples, holes in cliffs - anywhere high that will give them the privacy and security they need.
Their nest site will be close to their food source as, during rearing time, the adult male will need to make many trips daily to bring enough food for his growing brood.
Once fledged, each youngster will need to roam some distance to find an unoccupied area with a food supply good enough for itself, a mate, and a brood of young. Once he has found that, he will not roam again, unless his food supply runs short.

The Barn Owl as a pet bird

No Bird of Prey makes a good pet.

Barn owls can be kept in captivity. They need an aviary large enough to fly around in, a regular supply of food of the right type (chicks, mice etc.), and access to the right medical care (few vets are experts in birds of prey). And they make a fearful noise!
If they are kept as a pair, disposal of any young can be a problem - it is illegal to release them into the wild in the United Kingdom without a special license, and cruel to pass them to unsuitable homes.
They must not be kept in small cages. All birds need enough room to spread their wings fully and to fly (not hop) from end to end of their aviary. And they cannot be fed on cat food or table scraps.

 Source: Internet
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