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Late Afternoon Barn Owls

Late afternoon Barn Owls

By Alex White

Each afternoon around 5pm, just as the light is fading a Barn owl appears over the wildflower meadow.

A barn owl’s Latin name is Tyto alba literally means White owl, but in folklore it has many different names Banshee, Billy Whit, Death owl, Farmer’s friend, Ghost owl, screech owl, rat owl, and screaming owl.

I believe this is the owl responsible for the owl pellets in my last blog post, although I have spotted a second owl further along my local patch.

Hopefully, this is a male and female owl meaning there might be a good boost to the local owl population.

Over the past few months of constant wet weather, barn owls have been struggling to survive. The problem lies in the feathers not being waterproof meaning they can’t fly in the rain and have been starving to death.

The reason for the feathers not being waterproof is that the preen oil or powder dust that other birds use for waterproofing stops the feathers being so soft. It is the softness of the feathers that makes the owl’s flight so silent.

I’m looking forward to spending some more time photographing and filming the owls as the evenings get lighter.

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