Weird, Wild and Wonderful: Fun Facts About Barn Owls

Weird, Wild and Wonderful: Fun Facts About Barn Owls

At Pellets, we're big fans of owls of all kinds and not just for their pellets. We love everything about owls, from what they symbolize to their wingspans to whether they'd make good pets. But we've got a special soft spot for barn owls. Maybe it's because they're everywhere, or it's due to their distinctive heart-shaped faces, but we're wild for these wild birds. Even though barn owls themselves are common, there are some things about them that are decidedly uncommon. So then, what are some interesting facts about barn owls?

Barn Owl Facts: The More You Know

Some facts about barn owls are self-evident, the main one being that they often live in barns (hence the name). And because they are so common, they are the owl species many of us are most likely to see in real life. But owls are fascinating and mysterious birds and barn owls are no different. 

  • Barn owls are silent hunters. Because the feathers at the edges of their wings are buttery soft, barn owls are able to flap their wings without making a sound. Similarly, they also glide silently, making them sneakily effective hunters. 
  • They build unusual nests. Birds of all kinds are known for being opportunistic when it comes to gathering nesting materials. Barn owls take it a step further and build nests out of their own pellets. Of all the cool facts about barn owls, this one might seem a little gross, but as anyone who has dissected an owl pellet can attest, pellets are pretty amazing.
  • Their ears are uneven. This isn't just an interesting fact about barn owls, but we'll go ahead and include it here. Like other owl species, barn owls have one ear that is higher than the other, enabling them to hone in on prey while holding their head as still as possible. They also exercise control over the small feathers that surround their ears, allowing them to control and direct the sound that enters their ears.
  • Their spots are a sign of health. This definitely falls into the category of cool facts about barn owls. Researchers believe that the more spots a female barn owl sports on her chest, the healthier they are in the long run. Female owls with a lot of spots not only benefit from more food from males during their nesting phase, but they also seem to get fewer parasites.
  • Barn owls are good eaters. As barn owl facts go, this one is pretty obvious given that these birds are known to be valuable to farmers and ranchers for their rodent-control abilities. But the sheer amount of rodents a barn owl can consume is nothing short of astonishing. Generally speaking, a barn owl eats at the rate of a rat a day (at 365 rats in a year, that's some serious pest control), and it is not unusual for them to eat more than their body weight in a single day. 

These are far from the only interesting facts about barn owls. The next time you encounter one or hear its distinctive screech (among many fun facts about barn owls is that they don't hoot, they scream) you'll know this common bird has some characteristics that are not so common at all.

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