Friday, March 25, 2011

Common Barn Owl

Barn Owl
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Aves
Order : Strigiformes
Family : Tytonidae
Genus : Tyto
Species : T. alba

Length : 15in (38cm)
Wingspan : 43in (110cm)

IUCN Status : Least Concern

Did you know that the Common Barn Owl is one of the most widespread of all bird species? They are found on every single continent except Antarctica, as well as on a whole mess of different islands. They live in pretty much any type of habitat, though open woodland areas with hollow trees to roost in are preferred.

Common Barn Owls also go by a huge number of other names, including White Owl, Church Owl, and Monkey-Faced Owl. There are also over two dozen different subspecies that vary in size, color, and location. Overall though, the species is known for their white, heart shaped faces.

Common Barn Owls are masters of rodent hunting, so much so that their breeding seasons can be dictated by an overabundance of prey. They hunt by flying low and slowly, and then swooping down and grabbing the small mammals with their long talons. Barn Owls are nocturnal and have superb vision in low light.

Unfortunately, the species is not especially long lived in the wild. Due to predation their life expectancy is only a few years. In captivity that can actually live much, much longer, as long as 20-25 years!

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