The Barn Owl is a stunningly beautiful bird with golden/buff coloured upper parts laced with silver grey and white under-parts. It has a distinctive white heart shaped face and when seen in flight the overall impression is of a large white bird. The flight is buoyant and wonderfully graceful. The wings (spanning 85cm) are much bigger than the body. A Barn Owl is fully grown from only ten weeks old. It stands 25cm tall (from head to feet) and is 33-35cm from the top of its head to the tip of its tail. Barn Owls shriek and hiss, they don’t hoot (that’s the Tawny Owl).
Barn Owls hunt mainly from the air (rather than from a perch) and have some amazing adaptations enabling them to find and catch small mammals hidden in deep vegetation in the dark. They don’t generally venture into dense woodland but will forage over any open habitat that supports a population of small mammals. Barn Owls may roost or nest in any structure or tree that meets their requirements.
There are many resident Barn Owls at Bodfuan, which are regularly sighted by our keepers when they are working late on the shoot. We maintain habitats that are perfect hunting and nesting sites for this magnificent bird – another demonstration of how the industry of Game Shooting benefits wildlife in Britain. It is also likely that our pheasant feed helps boost populations of small mammals on which they prey.