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Barn Owl in Housing Estate

whipspeed 16 4.2k 22 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2010 5:18PM
Just been made to jump by our dog barking at the window and when I got to the window, there was a barn owl sitting on the fence watching him, or the other way round, it then flew up over the garage into a neighbours garden so we watched it for a few minutues until it flew off.
We've lived here for 26 years and I've never seen one around, much less at 5pm on a bright day.
How common are they in towns?
User_Removed 11 718 9 England
20 Feb 2010 6:02PM
You do see them more often this time of year, they need to get protein inside them ready for the spring mating season, then they have a few weeks of rearing the chicks, so this time of year they are more obvious and often look for food outside their territories.

Barn Owls are our most common owl i think, certainly around my parish anyhow.

I often hear both Barn and Tawny Owls calling at night time around here, both have a distinct call which is unmistakable.

The fact that you have seen one so close possibly points to a lack of Voles, thier preferred food choice, so if thats the case then the chick count could be down this year as Owls regulate breeding depending on how many voles have bred the year before, but fingers crossed and lets hope that im wrong as there are not many sights that make you smile as much as the beautiful Barn Owl.
jonah794 11 1.7k 11 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2010 6:07PM
where was that?
whipspeed 16 4.2k 22 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2010 6:27PM
We've never heard them calling, although they may be in the wooded green belt near us & as I said 1st sight of one for 26 years. It went into our neighbours hedge & popped out the top, all you could see was it's head.
The way it was looking at the whippet, it was probably thinking now that would keep me going for months Smile
Jonah, it was in Wellingborough. My husband sees them quite often when he's out training on his bike in the evenings, flying alongside the road.
User_Removed 11 718 9 England
20 Feb 2010 8:34PM
Heard on on wednesday night, well it was morning really, about 5am, very common sound roiund here at night, it sounds close but there is no way to tell if it was or not as their calls travel well at night time.

I think the best time to look for them is in summertime, in the mornings and late evenings when they are looking for prey to feed their chicks, they often do great displays round the countryside nearby, flying low above the long weeds and grass. And they are quite used to humans watching them but they can be easily spooked if your not careful.
whipspeed 16 4.2k 22 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2010 8:43PM
I've got my camera sitting ready in case it comes round again.
Think it spooked the dog though, he didn't know what to think of it staring at him Smile

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