Barn owl

Tyto alba

Status

Special Concern

Description

The Barn Owl is a medium sized owl with a distinctive heart shaped face. Adults vary from 30 to 37 cm in body length and have a wingspan of 104 to 120 cm. Their head is rather large and lacks ear tufts. The upper parts are mainly tawny-brown and smoky gray, the under parts are white, with fine black spots or speckles. Their face is white with a distinct darker brown border.

Habitat

Barn Owls prefer low-elevation, open country with grasslands, where their small rodent prey are more abundant. The Okanagan has agricultural lands and grasslands that appeal to them. Barn Owls nest in buildings, hollow trees, cavities in cliffs, and sometimes on man-made structures, especially those which are abandoned or unused.

Threats

Loss of habitat and prey species, mainly to urbanization and fragmentation
Pesticides and chemicals in the environment can cause reproductive problems and mortality
Collisions with vehicles

You Can Help!

Use traps to control pests rather than poison to prevent secondary poisoning
Watch for them along on the roadside
Retain old barn or shed structures used by Barn Owls for nesting or erect nest boxes

Resources

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Phone:  250-770-1467

Email:  info[@]osstewardship.ca

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