With heart-shaped face, buff back and wings and pure white underparts, the barn owl is a distinctive and much-loved countryside bird. Widely distributed across the UK, and indeed the world, this bird has suffered declines through the 20th century and is thought to have been adversely affected by organochlorine pesticides such as DDT in the 1950s and '60s.
Nocturnal birds like the barn owl are poorly monitored by the Breeding Bird Survey and, subject to this caveat, numbers may have increased between 1995-2008.
Barn owls are a Schedule 1 and 9 species.
What they eat:
Mice, voles, shrews and some larger mammals and small birds.
- UK breeding:
- 4,000 pairs
- 110-220,000 pairs