Barn Owls Built to Hunt

Barn owls are easily recognized by their heart shaped face, long legs and close set eyes. Most barn owls have a wing span of 3 ½ feet. Everything about the barn owl is geared toward being a nocturnal hunter. Mother Nature has a way of taking care of her own.

The feathers of the barn owl are very soft. This makes for a quiet flight and does not alert the voles, gophers, mice and rabbits of the coming attack.

Barn owls have very large eyes. This allows them to see better, even with limited light. Their eyes are so close set that it gives the barn owl three dimensional vision. Both eyes see the same thing from slightly different perspectives. This gives the bird exceptional depth perception, an essential part of successful hunting.

The eyes are so close together that the owl has a very narrow field of vision. Barn owls are unable to move their eyes within the eye sockets. Nature always provides a solution for every situation. The owl can rotate the head 270 degrees. The barn owl has 14 neck vertebrae and a special set of muscles just to make that happen.

The truth is barn owls do not even need to see to capture the location with no light at all. Owls do not have small round ears, but instead have long vertical slits in the skull. Humans are able to hear frequencies at 8,500 cycles per second. These birds are able to hear frequencies as high as 20,000 cycles per second. So the owls can locate the prey by sound.

The large flat face of the owl is similar to a sound cone. It collects all the sound for the ears.

The talons and long legs are a big part of the process as well. The legs are long enough to reach for the prey without getting too close to the ground. The talons are very sharp and keep a tight hold on dinner. It is a simple swoop and pick up process.

Even the way the barn owls digest the food is important to the efficiency of the process. It can eat every part of the animal and what the body can not process it regurgitates in the way of owl pellets.

Barn owls are simply made to be nocturnal hunters. They have all the right equipment to be efficient and survive in the environment that they reside.