One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An owl with a heart-shaped face, black eyes, and relatively long, slender legs, typically nesting in farm buildings or in holes in trees.
Genus Tyto, family Tytonidae: three species, especially T. alba, which is found throughout the world and (in western Europe) has a white face and underpartsAlso called screech owl
- ‘Especially sensitive to high pitched squeaks and rustles of rodents on the move, some owls - like the barn owl - hunt entirely by ear.’
- ‘The barn owl - a ghostly presence at dusk when it hunts on pale, silent wings - also benefited.’
- ‘Children were thrilled to be able to stroke a beautiful barn owl, while an enormous eagle owl, a tawny owl, a kestrel and a turkey vulture called George looked on.’
- ‘Parasite prevalence and intensity are high in the barn owl with 94% of the nestlings being infested with on average 40 flies per nestling.’
- ‘The barn owl's decline in many areas has caused much concern in recent years because of the bird's role in reducing rodent populations.’
- ‘When we were out on our patio a few nights ago a barn owl flew in circles over us screeching.’
- ‘We did a conducted night drive and spotted many nocturnal small animals, including genet and mongoose, a barn owl up a tree eating a mouse and nightjars sitting on eggs.’
- ‘Harry Potter had Hedwig as his pet owl but youngsters at a Bolton school went three better when an eagle owl, a tawny owl and a barn owl flew in.’
- ‘The most prevalent member of this species in North America is the common barn owl (Tyto alba pratincola).’
- ‘The barn owl was Britain's most common owl in the early 19th century.’
- ‘Though the barn owl is a most haunting bird, especially when seen hunting low over meadows at dusk, on slow, noiseless wings, it's defenseless against the thundering highways.’
- ‘Such a sight is sadly no longer common across Norfolk fields but at Strumpshaw Fen, near Norwich, the barn owl, with its distinctive white heart-shaped face, is breeding again.’
- ‘A few years ago, the silent brush of a barn owl's wing sent Trish Nixon reeling from her porch in the still of the night.’
- ‘And far from being a nasty raptor, the barn owl is ecologically important for natural rodent control.’
- ‘No it ain't a common barn owl - it's a great horned owl, which can grow to massive proportions depending upon the local supply of rats, field mice and rabbits.’
- ‘One element is the bird's facial disc, also found in other owls but best developed in the super-eared barn owl.’
- ‘And from April to September, you can catch a glimpse of a barn owl on the marsh.’
- ‘This bird is none other than the common barn owl, a bird no bigger than a crow, with an unmistakable heart-shaped, chalky white, phantom-of-the-opera mask.’
- ‘Among these animals were a barn owl that had been blinded by pesticides and a red-tailed hawk that had been hit by a car.’
- ‘For species like the barn owl, which can produce a second brood, this will almost certainly prove advantageous.’
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