The barn owl is native to the UK and can be seen in the wild hunting over rough grassland at dusk and dawn.
The barn owl is native to the UK and can be seen in the wild hunting over rough grassland at dusk and dawn. It is a white bird with buff coloured back with golden brown flecks and a heart shaped face. This facial disc gathers sound in much the same way as human ears. It’s hearing and eyesight are incredible, able to detect slight movements in low light and hear the sounds of tiny mammals on the ground below. In flight it is almost silent because of the soft and cleverly designed feathers and lightweight body.
The feathers are not particularly waterproof and to keep the Barn owl agile in the air it can’t put on much weight, this makes them very susceptible to starvation during wet and cold weather. Other problems leading to the barn owls decline are a huge change in landscape, intensive farming, loss of hedgerows and old pasture have lead to a serious decline in suitable hunting grounds and prey. It is believed their numbers have fallen by around 70% since the 1930s and as a result they now have special legal protection. Barn owls are an indicator species, meaning if barn owls are present the habitat is very healthy and diverse.