© Durham Bird Club. Managed by Sacha Elliott

Sep 26, 2017

Cross-eyed Barn Owl


Edited: Sep 26, 2017

Some more detail on a young Barn Owl exploring his surroundings in the Sunderland hinterlands at dusk.

Fully alert to this bewildering new world, constantly altering his profile & aiming his facial disc at every new noise.

His face is a concave series of feathers which forms a circular paraboloid that collects sound waves and directs them towards the owl's ears - a parabolic reflector which picks up the slightest sound, allowing him to hunt with pin point accuracy even in the pitch black of a winter night.


This was one of three I watched this evening, the youngsters instinctively staying close to shelter / cover & perch hunting until the light melted away & they began to hunt quartering grassland & making off down field headlands.


Of those which fledge in the UK, 70% of young Barn Owls will die in their first year....and a typical adult will live for only 4 years.

Thankfully we have several local landowners & farmers who are only too happy to accommodate Barnies & we give them a helping hand with nesting boxes to compliment natural nest sites.


I like to think I know a thing or two about Durhams Owls, Long-eareds, Shorties, Tawnies & Littles, we know them inside out, but when it comes to Barn Owls - instantly recognisable, yet so enigmatic & mysterious - You just get your eye in & then they're up & off, perhaps not being visible for weeks...... I'm not afraid to admit, they just run rings round me at times !!


This one seemed perplexed at one point, bobbing & rolling his head at a large pale Moth as it fluttered round his face.

I don't think an owl can go cross-eyed but this one must have come close !

New Posts
  • mvsalamanca92
    Aug 26

    FOR SALE....unused still in box....cost£230...accept £100
  • andrewscarth
    Dec 1, 2018

    Hello everyone I was wondering if anyone could give me some help and advice on a camera for my grandson . We live in Jarrow and do most of our bird watching around the burn at boldon. Even though he's only 6 he loves anything to do with wildlife but especially birds, any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.
  • paul.cave
    Jul 17, 2018

    Manfrotto 190go,  Carbon Fibre 4 section twist lock tripod, boxed as new (hardly used)  Length closed – 18ins (47cms) Fit nicely into smaller suitcases. Weight -  2.9lbs (1.3kgs) Supports – 15.4lbs (7kgs) Tripod head Manfrotto 128RC head with quick release, boxed as new (hardly used)  Weight – 1.6lbs (0.8kgs) Supports – 8.8lbs    (4kgs) Tripod cost £340 new  Head cost £80 new, will accept a reasonable offer. Would prefer to sell together but can split.    I am in Hartlepool but can meet at Saltholme or elsewhere! Reply on here or email me at paul.cave@seatechs.com