The Barn Owl is a distinctive and much loved countryside bird. Barn Owls can be found throughout the UK and Ireland and are easily identified with their heart shaped face and pure white underparts. They hunt small mammals such as mice, voles, shrews, rats, muskrats, hares and rabbits, and they may also prey on small birds.

Breeding takes place at varying times of year, and they will lay approximately between four and six eggs. The female incubates the eggs for 29 to 34 days, when the time comes they will hatch every 2-3 days, usually in the order they were laid. The chicks will leave the nest on their first flight 50 to 70 days after hatching, but they return to the nest to roost for 7 to 8 weeks. The chicks usually become independent from the parents 3 to 5 weeks after they begin flying.

We hope that you enjoy watching our webcams, the feeds for which were kindly provided by the Beleef de Lente Project, courtesy of Vogelbescherming Nederland and so some multilingual messages may appear on occasion.

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Help your Garden Birds

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How may eggs does a Barn Owl lay?

    A Barn Owl can lay around 10 eggs! However, this means that there’s usually a big gap between the first and last egg. As they hatch in the order, this means there is often a huge size different between the young. Unfortunately, the smallest chicks don’t always survive.

  2. How often does a Barn Owl lay?

    Usually once the first egg is laid, an egg is then laid every other day. However, a break of 3 to 5 days between eggs has been known.

  3. Why does a Barn Owl sleep on one leg?

    By keeping one leg close to the body and under the feathers the owl will lose less heat. As you can see, the legs are less densely feathered.

  4. When does a Barn Owl go hunting?

    The Barn Owl will mainly hunt at night. The heart shaped part of the face ensures all sound is picked up, they have exceptional hearing and can find prey by sound alone. Rodents compromise 90% of their diet.

  5. I would like to put up a nest box for my garden birds, where should I site it for best results?

    The best height for your nest box is widely accepted as being between 1.5m and 5.5m high (5ft - 18ft respectively). However, if your area has a particularly high cat population it is best to site your box even higher.

    If you only have an exposed site to offer, face the box somewhere between north through east to southeast, avoiding prevailing winds and strong sunlight. If siting in woodland, the dry side of the tree trunk offers the most protection. By their nature, open nest boxes require more cover; siting them near to climbing plants where they can be partially obscured is ideal. Siting your nest box near vegetation also aids young birds taking their first flights as it gives them both physical support and good cover.

    A clear flight path into the box works best and avoid sites such as the top of fences that make it easier for predators to get at the box.

  6. I’m having trouble viewing the cameras?

    Visitors sometimes experience technical problems when trying to view the live stream cameras. A multi-lingual message usually appears on the camera display if we are aware of the issues. Please be patient, we will try and get the feeds back up and running as soon as we can.