Meet the Animals » Owls and Hawks » Jay
Jay was around two weeks old when he came to the refuge, he was the last chick to hatch and due to the gap of around 4 days of his siblings hatching they would of eventually eaten him or he would of starved as the ‘runt’ of the litter. He could never have competed for his food, of course for us to know all of this he was captive bred and was then removed from the nest for his own safety.
The barn owl is a pale, long winged, long legged owl with a sharp squarish tail. It can measure an average of around 12 inches high with a wingspan of 30-43 inches. Their heart shaped face is usually bright white.
Most barn owls only manage to breed once during their lifetime, as many fall victim to predators or accidents before 2 years of age.
Whilst the wild barn owls are realatively short-lived in captivity they can reach 20 years or more. They are not considered to be globally threatened but due to their loss of habitat and man they are not as common in some places as they used to be.
It hunts by flying low and slowly, hovering over spots that conceal potential prey. They may also use fence posts or other lookouts to ambush prey. They feed primarily on small vertebrates and studies show that they can eat one or more rodents per night.
The barn owl has acute hearing with ears placed asymmetrically for improved detection of sound, position and distance it does not require sight to hunt.
Did you know contrary to popular belief barn owls do not hoot, instead they produce a characteristic shree scream, ear shattering at close range.