Barn Owl

Quick Facts:

  • Barn owls have incredible sight and hearing, allowing them to locate prey from far away.
  • Barn owls screech, they never hoot, unlike some other owls.
  • Although mostly nocturnal, barn owls will hunt during the day if they are not getting enough food, as well as to preserve body heat.
  • They are about the size of a small cat but only weigh a pound.

This barn owl is spending the day at rest in Rose Canyon. Barn owls see very well in low light, but their hearing is so good, they can locate prey in total darkness or even under snow. The heart-shaped ruff on the owl’s face collects sound and directs it to their ears. The edges of their feathers have a soft comb-like fringe that makes their flight silent. Barn owls have long, sharp talons that they use to catch mice, voles, rats, and other rodents. They swallow their prey whole but do not digest the bones, teeth, and hair. Instead, they cough those up in an owl pellet. Barn owls hiss or screech rather than hoot. If you walk in Rose Canyon just after dusk, you might see a barn owl fly by. They emerge well before dark to start the night’s hunt.


How does a barn owl eat?

Click for the answer:

Once it finds its typical prey (voles, shrews, mice, etc.), the food will often be swallowed whole. Remnants of fur and bone are regurgitated in the form of an owl pellet.