10 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About Barn Owls!
How much of a barn owl expert are you? Test your knowledge to find out! Give every question a fair shake before looking at the answer to see if you can get at least five of these ten right. Do so and you are officially a “barn owl expert!”
- The species Tyto alba is commonly called the “barn owl.” What are two other common names for this species?
- Where are the only two places on earth barn owls do not live?
- Do barn owls hoot?
- Do barn owls eat domestic animals?
- Do barn owls have keen sight?
- Do barn owls always breed in the late spring?
- What is a barn owl’s life span?
- Name three predators of the barn owl.
- Are barn owls threatened?
- Why do barn owls consume so many more rodents than other predators?
- There are actually many names for the barn owl, including screech owl, white owl, demon owl, ghost owl and church owl. The name Tyto alba actually means “white owl” in Latin.
- In polar and desert regions. The extreme temperatures in these regions do not allow barn owls or their prey to survive.
- No. Only common owls, a different species, make the hooting sound. Barn owls screech, and quite loudly! They can also make a hissing sound to frighten away predators.
- Not intentionally. A barn owl may grab a chicken if nothing else is available but prefers rodents to birds generally and will hunt for mice, voles and rats before resorting to other animals for food.
- No, hearing is the sense that allows a barn owl to swoop down and grab prey unerringly, even under snow, grass or other obstructions.
- No. April and May are prime months because food is most abundant during that time. However, barn owls will sit on eggs, known as a “clutch,” at any time food is available in large quantities, so warmer regions may see nesting all year long.
- With no human intervention, a barn owl survives an average of two years in the wild. With a safe nesting place free from predators, however barn owls can live up to 20 years.
- Any large carnivore can be a barn owl predator, but the most common are opossums, raccoons and other raptors or birds of prey such as eagles and hawks.
- Barn owls are not generally considered to be threatened species because they recover quickly from environmental incursions. However, they are not as plentiful as they used to be in some areas and many people have set up barn owl boxes in order to encourage barn owl couples to mate and produce more young.
- Barn owls have a much higher metabolic rate than most predators, and therefore require a great deal of food in order to survive.
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