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Barn Owl

October 29, 2022

Barn Owls often get a bad rap in farm animal movies. Despite their super soft bodies and heart-shaped face, these birds are serious carnivores and can eat multiple critters each night. In fact, almost everything about a Barn Owl's body is specialized for finding and hunting prey. Here are some fun facts about the Barn Owl, including what makes them particularly good hunters.

Fun Facts:

  • Barn Owls have 28 different subspecies.
  • These owls have heart-shaped faces; like other owl species, most of their faces are white.
  • These birds have large eyes that are sensitive to movements.
  • They also have long legs, toes and talons to help them capture prey that may be hiding in tall grasses.
  • The Barn Owl does not hoot; that is the Tawny Owl. Instead, Barn Owls let off an eerie, drawn-out screech.
  • Barn Owls locate their prey by sound; they hunt at night, but some researchers in Great Britain have noticed them during the day.
  • Barn Owls' ears are lop-sided. Having one ear higher than the other helps them pinpoint the exact sound of their prey.  
  • Barn Owls usually have a lifelong mating partner unless one of them is killed. In such an event, the other finds another bond.
  • During the nesting and brooding periods, female Barn Owls depend on the males for food.
  • Barn Owls are carnivores. They feed on birds, rodents, and other small prey.
  • On average, Barn Owls eat about four small animals each night. That's 1,460 per year!
  • They swallow their prey whole and cough up pellets about twice a day. An owl pellet is full of bones, skin, and other nondigestible material.  

 

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