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Bird name:

Barn Owl

Tyto alba

Order

STRIGIFORMES

Family

Barn Owl (Tytonidae)

BTO 2

BO

BTO 5

BAROW

Euring 5

07350
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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

UK Conservation Status


Green Status

European Conservation Status


Conservation Description


The Barn Owl is a common resident in much of the UK, Isle of Man, and Ireland, and occurs in a variety of open habitats. It has a "Green" status because of its large, stable population.

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SUMMARY

Overview

Barn Owl: Medium-sized owl with glaring white, heart-shaped facial disk, no ear tufts, and long legs. Upperparts are orange-brown with fine white spots and dark bars. Underparts are white with small black spots. Feeds primarily on small mammals, also takes small birds. Slow, silent mothlike flight.


Range and Habitat

Barn Owl: Resident throughout much of the UK and Ireland. Found many habitats, but prefers warm climates with mild winters. Nearby open grassland is essential; rarely found in deep forests or mountains. Found near forest edges, farmland, and coastal marshes. Occasional immigration from the continent.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"csssssshhh", "kiiissh", "shrreeeeeee-srreeeeee"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Barn Owls are encouraged to nest in certain agricultural areas because of their ability to control rodents better than traps or poisons and at no cost. Research indicates that they eat twice as much prey for their weight as other owls.
  • Their uncanny sense of hearing is aided by asymmetrically placed ears. They are able to capture prey hidden by snow or vegetation. Their ears have feathered flaps that can close to provide protection if they encounter sound that is too intense.
  • They typically approach their prey from a low flight path. Grasping the prey with their feet, they use their beak to bite through the back of the skull. Prey is swallowed whole. They are also known to cache food when nesting.
  • A group of owls has many collective nouns, including a "bazaar", "glaring", "parliament", stooping", and "wisdom" of owls.

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FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Chris Vest

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BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.

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ITIS CodesX

The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at http://www.itis.gov/advanced_search.html. You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

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Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX