UT postcard view Barn owls
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Below In at least three of the years since University Terrace was established circa 1994, Barn Owls (Tyto alba) have attempted to breed in palm trees on our grounds.

Unfortunately, palm trees offer precarious nesting sites and breeding success has not been great. In an effort to provide more stable accommodation, we have attached nest boxes to more stable trees.

Barn Owls hunt by ear and can locate their prey with pinpoint accuracy in complete darkness. Analysis of the pellets they shed revealed that their staple diet hereabouts is house mice, although a few brown rats have been consumed. They offer useful pest control without posing any threat to domestic pets or to humans of any size. An adult owl can eat up to three mice a day, while a breeding pair can do great damage to the rodent population. Their range of calls is underestimated in most bird books; they can astonish the ear and entertain with screeching, hissing, bill-clicking, and other percussive sounds.

For further information, go to Wikipedia -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barn_owl.

Photos of our barn owls (by Anne A)

Up in the palm tree

Triangle of owls

Resting after a flight from the palm tree

The Owl Cam

For the Owl Cam (not ours, in Benicia), to get a closer look: http://www.theowlcam.com/2400.php. More information about the Owl Cam: http://www.theowlcam.com/about.php.

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