The Barn Owl (Tyto alba) is one of the most widely distributed owls on the planet. Chances are, if you are reading this blog, you've got barn owls nearby. I've encountered them many times, and can often hear them screeching when they fly over head (they are known for their frequent calls). I've also stepped in freshly regurgitated owl balls. That is a wonderful experience, what with the crunching of mouse bones and the gooey strands of squirrel hair on your shoes.
Their worldly status that has garnered them a long list of also-known-as's. Here are but a few:
Monkey-faced Owl, Ghost Owl, Church Owl, Death Owl, Hissing Owl, Hobgoblin or Hobby Owl, Golden Owl, Silver Owl, White Owl, Night Owl, Rat Owl, Scritch Owl, Screech Owl, Straw Owl, Barnyard Owl and Delicate Owl.
Baby birds always look awkward, but this little brood of barn owlets can take solace in the fact that they aren't a threatened species, relocating isn't a problem, they can hunt in complete darkness, they fly silently, and they'll soon be the stuff of nightmares to rodents the world over.
Photos courtesy Jack G