September 30, 2020

This Guy*

About the Photo

Barn Owl ©J Craig Photos.

This has always

been one of my favorite images. Maybe it is because it appeals to my love of autumn and old things (the barn, in this case). October is a fitting month to showcase this beautiful, short-lived, yet somewhat spooky owl. Its screech - oh my! You can listen at the end of this and judge for yourself.

We are fortunate in lower Washington State to have the Barn Owl as a fairly common resident. Sadly, however, there is a widespread belief that the Barn Owl population may be declining overall. This would be a shame considering its value to our food and environment.

The Barn Owl preys on small rodent type critters and other small mammals. (Sorry, rabbits.) Just one family of owls can take out over 1,000 rats a year. It is welcome to hunt in my yard anytime! It doesn't take much imagination to figure out how beneficial this can be in our food supply alone.

Don't have a barn? You may have a family in outbuildings or tree hollows. A dense conifer is a good bet too.

You can coax the owls over by building (or buying) nesting boxes and placing them near a rich hunting ground. Some say to feed them in the winter, but that is a debate that I won't touch. 🤔 🤐


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* I only suspect that this is a "guy" owl. I believe the female has more spots and a darker underside. Feel free to correct or confirm by CONTACTING ME.

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Barn Owl