Barn Owl Eating

Over the weekend Leonard and I visited Badger Run Wildlife Rehabilitation near Klamath Falls OR. While there we got to watch a barn owl (Tyto alba) eating and I got a nice set of photographs.

Barn owls in our area eat mostly rodents. They swallow their prey whole without tearing it apart or chewing – fur, bones and all. Once the prey is captured, the barn owl manipulates it so that it is positioned head first in its bill and it can be swallowed with the least difficulty.

A couple times a day a barn owl will cough up indigestible material in the form of pellets. The bones, teeth, fur and other material in these pellets are widely studied and provide valuable information about the owl, its diet and the ecosystem in which it lives. Periodically an owl pellet collector comes by and collects the barn owl pellets in our barn for use in scientific study and school programs.

It was interesting to watch the barn owl handle its “prey”.

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4 Responses to Barn Owl Eating

  1. Helen says:

    Hi Gingkochris
    I work for Essential Resources, an educational publisher, based in New Zealand.

    We are currently working on a new series of books for primary school-aged reluctant readers. One of our authors has written about amazing eyes and mentioned how the special skin behind owl’s retinas makes their eyes look like they shine in the dark. We spotted your blog on Eyeshine and wondered if it would be possible to include one of your photos in our book.

    I am happy to send you a brochure about our company, and/or answer any queries you have about the possible use of your image.

    I look forward to hearing from you
    Helen McEwen


  2. Deanna Jarvie says:

    I remember people coming by to get our barn owl pellets. I always thought that was interesting.


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