Sunday, 2 August 2009

Common Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

OTHER NAMES: Barn Owl, Western Barn Owl, White Owl, Church Owl
Latin Etymology: Tyto ("night-owl") alba ("white")

 Adult Common Barn Owl (subspecies T. a. alba) in Elmley Marshes, Kent - January 2011

Featured Subspecies: Tyto alba alba
Weight: 290g  /  Length: 33-39cm  /  Wingspan: 80-95cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Despite the odds in theory seeming stacked against seeing one, the barn owl is possibly the easiest of the owls to see - it's bright white colouration, reasonably large size and the fact it hunts in the open making it easier than you would think. On the downside, as with all owls population density is low, and the barn owl has suffered in recent years from population decline, although it now seems to be stablising. Photography is tricky, if only because of the low light it is normally seen in.

Further Information:
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Tytoninae
Genus: Tyto
Subspecies: T. a. alba, T. a. guttata, T. a. ernesti, T. a. erlangeri, T. a. affinis, T. a. schmitzi, T. a. gracilirotstris, T. a. detorta

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Scarce breeding species (4000 pairs) and uncommon Winter visitor (approx. 12,000-25,000 birds).
 - Birds seen at various sites including Elmley Marshes, Rutland WaterGeddingtonTrevose HeadWooler and Oare Marshes

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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