The Barn Owl is a bird of prey with a snowy white, heart-shaped face and large black eyes which give this owl a rather ghost-like appearance. It has its name the ‘Barn Owl’ because it often nests in barns or silos high up in dark corners where humans can’t see it. Barns Owls also nest in tree hollows, ruined buildings and cliffs.
The Barn Owl has honey-coloured upperparts with darker markings and grey patches. Its underparts and the undersides of the wings are snowy white with light spotting, although the female tends to have darker spotting. The Barn Owl looks like it has a flat face because its beak points downwards. It can’t move its eyes around like a human can and this is why it moves its neck in almost every direction so it can get a better view all round.
Barn Owls have a wingspan of around ninety centimetres and in flight they seem to waver effortlessly up and down in the air. They can sometimes be seen hunting in the day, but they mostly hunt at night in open grassy fields and on roadside verges. They use their strong sense of hearing and not their eyes to locate prey, even though they have very good night vision. They eat mice, voles, shrews, rats and sometimes birds such as finches and thrushes.
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