Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How to find a Barn Owl

1. Find a barn...or similar structure that has owl-sized entrances. (Ask permission before birding on private property.)
Steve Hofhine checking out a Say's Phoebe outside of the picture. Convenient owl entrances in this barn.
2. Look for owl pellets on the ground.
A sure sign of active Barn Owls
3. Look up into the rafters.
Do you see it?
4. Zoom in for a better look. (Digiscoped with Swarovski ATX spotting scope and handheld iPhone 4s)
"I'll partially open one eye to acknowledge your presence. Check out my killer talons which are used to dispatch rodents all around this farm."


  1. Awesome indeed!
    Now I need to go make friends with some farmers. :)

  2. Wow- What a score! They are very scarce in Connecticut but I imagine the more barns around the better chance of Barn Owls.

  3. I love it when you find a species doing just exactly what you'd expect.

  4. Oh you make it sound so very easy...

    I'd have better luck building my own barn and stocking it with mice I think.

  5. Thanks all. Laurence, this post was a little tongue-in-cheek as seeing Barn Owls is often not as easy as one would hope. I have actually been checking this very barn for seven years and this is the first year I have seen Barn Owls or pellets there. In Utah, on Antelope Island, I found Barn Owls in trees, and Great Horned Owls in barns. According to eBird, Maine and Alaska are the only Barn Owl-less states. Even Hawaii has them.

    1. Indeedy, the only wild Barn Owl I've seen in the last 3 years was dead. So, if you got Great-horned in a barn, can you at least count it as a hybrid?????

  6. Fabulous Owls! My friend had one roost in her eaves on year. A treasure to see.

  7. Awesome indeed! I wonder if they always sleep with their talons curled like that! Good Job Robert!

  8. Hmmm.... I can think of a few abandoned barns on fieldwork routes that definitely need to be checked for barn owls... A few years ago we found a snake skeleton in one, but a barn owl would be much cooler!

  9. Fantastic! Barn Owls are so very beautiful.