Black Pilot FineLiner pen sketch on a coffee-painted back-ground – Nescafé instant, strong! – Bockingford 300gsm Location : Our smallholding in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa
The Barn Owl (Tyto alba) is the most widely distributed species of owl, and one of the most widespread of all birds. It is also referred to as Common Barn Owl, to distinguish it from other species in the barn owl family Tytonidae. The Barn Owl is a frequent visitor to my property and is not shy to hunt in broad daylight. I often see one pouncing on something in the long grass during the day, flying off with its prize, probably to feed some babies.
These pale, nearly worldwide, birds are closely associated with man through their traditional use of barn lofts and church steeples as nesting sites.
Barn Owls are short-lived birds. Most die in their first year of life, with the average life expectancy being 1 to 2 years in the wild.
Although they are easy to identify in the day as they often hunt in daylight, by night you can find them by listening for their eerie, raspy screech, quite unlike the hoots of other owls.