Friday, May 29, 2009

Barn Owl

After yesterday's osprey, here's another bird that is rarish in the UK but widespread around the world; the barn owl (we also saw a third bird in this category - Peregrine - but no photos of that one). I'm fairly sure some this will be split soon into a number of insular and continental forms but for now I believe the Tyto alba in Venezuela is the same as the Tyto alba in my parents' garden.

barn owl2

I was a little surprised when I told one of the guides about seeing an owl take an iguana and he asked what species. Having confirmed it was a GHO, I asked why he asked and he explained that a barn owl could usually be found roosting in the mango tree beneath which we were standing.

barn owl

Naturally this casual reference caused me to look up and after we'd scanned for a few minutes Rafael located the owl. Of course forewarned is forearmed and with this knowledge I was able to do an owl check every morning on the way to breakfast (the tree being between the pool, the dining room and our room - how convenient) to locate the owl and see whether I could get a better lit shot. Every morning the images got a little better and every morning I had a little more fun finding my owl. You know you're in a pretty special place where you can see the world's largest rodent, nesting macaws, a rare primate and 2 species of owl on the way from your hotel room to the dining room....

barn owl

Bad news for those of you hoping for more baby owl shots this year by the way. The box is currently occupied by a brood of jackdaws. I'm told barn owls tend to cycle through nests rather than always using the same box and that we can expect one of the young (which are seen from time to time still) to maybe use it next year.


Keetha said...

Oh what a face he has!

jason said...

Wow! As Keetha said, I love the face.

tai haku said...

cute little chap huh? thank you both for ocmmenting.