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Barn Owls

The Barn Owl is one of many people’s favourite birds, with its distinctive heart shaped face and the broad wings that power the silent flight that help it locate and catch its prey. To enable their silent flight Barn Owls have specially adapted feathers which are not waterproof, so they are vulnerable to wet weather during which they cannot hunt. A prolonged period of wet weather can result in them not surviving.
It is widely present in the UK and resident all year round. Their call is a screeching noise, sometimes hissing too, and has been likened to a person snoring! The females are slightly larger than the males and there are minor differences in plumage colour and pattern between the sexes but the latter are not easily distinguished as Barn Owls mainly fly in the dusk or dawn and during the night. At some times of the year they can be seen flying in the daytime, especially if the nocturnal weather has not been suitable for hunting, and/or if they have young to feed.
They are able to hear the slightest sound and can also see well in poor light, both of which facilitate catching the voles and similar which are their prey and often swallowed whole. Since they are unable to digest fur and bones they regurgitate these as pellets which can sometimes be found under a favourite tree. Examination of the pellets helps to identify their prey items.

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