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    Bird of Prey: Barn Owl

    ArticleThursday 09 December 2010
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    Barn owls have a great appeal more so than other birds of prey due to their humanoid expressions. With their large foreheads and their eyes being set on the front of their faces they are striking birds. If you like owls and want to know a little more about the barn owl then this article will give you some information.

    %%AFC-ADVERT%% If you want to identify a barn owl then you should begin by looking for a medium sized pale owl. They lack feathered ears and have a heart shaped facial disk and dark eyes. The upper parts of a barn owl are grey with brown spots and when in flight the barn owl’s large wingspan of 90cm is clearly identifiable. Barn owls usually hunt by night but they are known in the winter months to hunt by day.

    A barn owl’s hearing is excellent, the right ear opening is usually larger and higher up than the left. This might seem like an unusual layout but it allows a barn owl to pinpoint its prey by sound alone. Barn owls will most typically eat short-tailed vole but they will also eat field mice, bank voles and shrews.

    When barn owls breed they have monogamous pairings. Courtship for barn owls usually begins in late February and during these periods you will find male barn owls hunting by day to bring food back to impress potential mates. The male barn owl will patrol his territory and screech to repel any rivals. Barn owls become very attached to nesting sites and are known to use the same ones for twenty to thirty years. Barn owls will lay between 4 and 6 eggs which are laid in April or early May. The eggs are incubated by the female and they will hatch after 32 to 34 days.

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