Friday, August 28, 2020

North American Barn Owl

The North American barn owl is found from southern Canada to central Mexico, the Bahamas and Hispaniola. There are another approximately 19 other subspecies of barn owl. The barn owl is the most widely distributed species of owl in the world and one of the most widespread species of bird in the world. 
The barn owl is nocturnal and most of its food is mammals found on the ground by their acute hearing. 
The North America barn owl has long wings, a squarish tail, gray and orange/buff upperparts, and whitish to light buff underparts with much speckling, and a white face. In flight its undulating flight pattern (smoothly rising and falling), dangling feathered legs, and heart-shaped pale face are distinctive. 
It does not hoot, like a great horned owl, but rather gives a schree scream in a long drawn-out shriek. 

I have seen them a few times over the years in Live Oak Canyon near our home. They are typically roosting in a large oak tree and fly when the tree is approached. Until this week I'd never been able to photograph one. This week I found two roosting in a series of oak trees (perhaps one adult and a recent fledgling) and have been going back several days in a row and getting some photos in flight. I've not been able to get a photo of one roosting. 

1 comment:

  1. This is a highlight of our canyon walks for me. It is so fun to see these big birds swoop from tree to tree. I had no idea they were so "common" around the world.