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The Barn Owl
Measuring 33 to 39cm in length and a wingspan of 80 to 95cm and weighing in at 250 to 350 g the schedule 1
Barn Owl is one of our most familiar birds of prey.
With its heart shaped face that collects and directs sound to its ears like a satellite dish and its ghostly white appearance this beautiful owl is an amazing hunter.
It catches mostly mice voles and shrews with the odd rabbit or rat also on the menu.
Depending on the size of their prey they will swallow it whole or tear it apart with its beak.
With incredible hearing and silent serrated wings it is able to detect its prey from above unnoticed.
They hunt mainly at night and from sunset although when food is scarce they will hunt during the day.
They can hunt in complete darkness using just their hearing!
The eyes are black and fixed and binocular meaning their close range sight is poor hence the need for sensitive hearing.
The Barn Owl can turn its head 270 degrees horizontally
due to the 14 bones in its neck.
It nests in barns or hollows in trees and lays 4 and 6 eggs.
The female incubates for around 32 to 34 days.
They can breed up to 3 times a year but most just once.
Chicks leave the nest and take flight in around 50 to 70 days after hatching.
They live around 6 years in the wild.
There are around 5000 breeding pairs in the UK