Barn owls are one of the most common owls in the world. Their silent flights in night make us wonder more about them. They are easily identified by their white undersides and brown backs. They live in warm areas of North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. However, they are absent from the Sahara and Arabian deserts, as well as various islands in Southern Asia.
Barn owls stand around 15″, but weigh only 12 ounces. They need to be light do that they can fly and hunt. Female barn owl are larger than the males so that they can defend their nestlings from predators.
Barn owl are carnivores. They eat mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits, shrews, frogs, lizards, birds, and sometimes insects. Barn owls hunt at night, and use their incredible senses of hearing and sight to locate their quarry. They catch their prey with their razor sharp talons. To fly quieter and be less detectable to their prey, barn owls have evolved softer feather. They also have notches on the tips of their wings and feathers, which hep quiet the owl’s flight. Like other owls, barn owls puke up pellets of the fur, bones, and feathers of their prey. They cough up a pellet close to 2 hours after a meal. Barn owls help the ecosystem they live in. Without owls, rodents would overrun the area and eat all the bird eggs, which would be devastating for the ecosystem.
Barn owls lay 4 to 8 eggs in a clutch. The generally take natural cavities in trees, cliffs, and buildings. Since the eggs are laid not at the same time, the nestlings can be days apart in age. The nestlings eat insects and small tidbits from rodents, but gradually move up to larger meals. They leave nest after around 50 days, but stay with their parents another 2 months to learn how to hunt. After, they leave to continue their lives as they look for a mate.