Ghostly pale and (not) strictly nocturnal, Barn Owls (Tyto alba) are silent predators of the night world. Lanky, with a whitish face, chest, and belly, and buffy upperparts, this owl roosts in hidden, quiet places during the day. By night, they hunt on buoyant wingbeats in open fields and meadows. You can find them by listening for their eerie, raspy calls, quite unlike the hoots of other owls. Despite a worldwide distribution, Barn Owls are declining in parts of their range due to habitat loss. I for one, do not see them as often as I used to.
Once welcomed by farmers as one form of pest control, the population is now under threat from modern farming techniques, e.g. the destruction of hedgerows & meadowland, which affect their prey, the removal of old barns & buildings, which were their nesting places and the use of chemicals to control rodents.
The Owl Rescue Centre is the only raptor centre in South Africa that primarily focus on owl species. They give all their time and attention to owl species because of the high mortality rate of owls in South Africa, making owls vulnerable to a decreasing population. They rehabilitate and release 200 – 250 Spotted Eagle Owls, 100 – 150 Barn Owls and 80 -100 other owl species each year. SHOULD YOU FIND AN OWL THAT YOU SUSPECT MIGHT BE INJURED, PLEASE CALL THEM ON
+27 82 719 5463 (24/7 emergency line – South Africa)
T. alba is found almost anywhere in the world except polar and desert regions, Asia north of the Alpide belt, most of Indonesia, and the Pacific islands. However, they have been introduced to control rodents in the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
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