The Life Cycle of the Barn Owl
Watching barn owls live through an entire life cycle is an experience you will never forget. Barn owls are fascinating creatures, and being able to watch them from the time they hatch until they leave the nest and become adult predators is an exercise in wonder. A barn owl nesting box with an included camera is one of the best ways to observe the entire life cycle of the barn owl easily.
Baby Barn Owls
Male barn owls attract a mate by making a special call. The barn owl female responds to this call with a screeching noise, giving rise to the alternative name “screech owl” for this species. The barn owl often mates for life; in the wild, adults have a life expectancy of about two years, but barn owls who live in specially-made habitats that are safe from predators may live much longer.
Once the pair has mated, the female lays an egg every two to three days until she lays five to ten eggs. The brood rarely includes this many babies, however, because it is so difficult to hatch the eggs. Generally, one or two babies make it out of the egg and become the “clutch” of children to be raised by the parents.
Owlets hatch in about 32 days after the eggs are laid. During that time, the barn owl lays the eggs on a level surface and pushes discarded food or other items under the eggs to keep them from breaking. The mother stays with the eggs until the babies hatch. After the hatchlings are born, the father will bring food for both them and the mother.
Barn Owl Fledglings
Barn owls fledge, or begin to get feathers, at about ten weeks of age. Until that time, they are totally dependent on the parents for sustenance. Once the birds fledge, however, the parents will begin to push them out of the nest and teach them to hunt so that they can support themselves. The baby barn owls will return to the nest for as long as seven months, but will eventually be forced to go out and find their own mates, beginning the cycle again. A mother barn owl may lay a clutch of eggs up to twice a year, depending on the climate and the environment’s ability to sustain the brood.
A barn owl box is a great way to witness this fascinating life cycle, and Barn Owl Boxes provides a variety of boxes to help you experience the beauty of the barn owl’s journey.
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