Any natural history boffins out there?

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BJ.
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by BJ. » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:16 am

The last time I saw a barn owl was last season. It was dark and I was driving on the A6 bypass in Derby on my way to a match. The bird flew right across the front of the windscreen and missed it by no more than a couple of feet.

My seat was very nearly in need of some discreet valeting afterwards.
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by Rizzo » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:14 am

Unfortunately, that's how many barn owls die - particularly juveniles. That and the loss of habitat is why the barn owl has been in decline.

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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by Kinoulton » Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:18 pm

Evidently we are in the ideal place. Plenty of farm crops (hence voles etc) but a nearby bird sanctuary too.

Plus Spud the Dog has drawn up a truce with the owl, and they live compatibly.
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by cornish tigress » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:28 am

I would love to see a barn owl. They are nocturnal mainly because they can be, I have read. They have special huge eyes that are so big they are actually stuck in their sockets. That's why they have to be able to move their heads almost all the way round. And they have rods in their eyes rather than cones which can see better in low light. Their long sight is exceptional even at night but their short vision is rubbish so they have special 'whiskers' on their feet and round their beak so they can feel if their prey starts to wriggle away. Bright light bothers their eyes a bit. And their prey is mainly out at night. And they scare the :censored: out of BJ so that has to be worth waiting til dark for :smt003 :smt002

And another interesting thing....

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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by Rizzo » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:27 am

There used to be barn owls around where I live when I was young, rarely see them nowadays (tawnies still loudly in evidence!) - but then the old farmhouse and buildings are now a pub and car park! You do see them hunting over the fields further out and I had a wonderful sighting at Eyebrook reservoir last year about 4pm when I sat in the car at the side of the road and watched a barn owl hunting for about an hour. Really close views, didn't need my binoculars.
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by tigerburnie » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:36 pm

Set aside policies have helped improve the quality of bio-diversity no end,sadly it is now under threat as a cost cutting exercise.But for Barn Owls and several other birds of prey,roosting sites are just as rare as nesting sites.If you can put up something about the size of a shoe box(obviously with half the "lid" bit removed so they can get in)up a tree or on the gable of a building,it can help.
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by jgriffin » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:32 pm

Chatting to a chap at the Raptor place at Ringwood (Hampshire) he said that owls are as thick as two short planks and are very poor at adapting their behaviour(as well as untrainable after 6 months old), whereas some other raptors (especially vultures) are pin-bright and will swiftly adapt their behaviour to suit the circumstances. I suspect that means that vultures will hunt anytime food is available.
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by cornish tigress » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:37 pm

I always thought that scavengers were brighter than hunters. I love the idea of animals that just wait for someone else to do all that running about and struggling, and they just go and pick up the food at the end. Carrion birds follow wolves and will actually help them spot prey in order to get a meal once the wolf has killed it.
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by fleabane » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:45 pm

I have seen more barn owls this year than ever before. I drive over to Boston on A52 two or three times a week, and often see a barn owl around the new 40mph section (wavy road surface). Also along the A607 to Melton, between Waltham and Melton.

Often they are just a momentary white flash, but unmistakeable. We also have a pair which drift across the fields behind the house in the gloaming. :smt049

We are surrounded by Tawnies (all night long), and also the odd little owl perched on one of the telegraph poles along our side road off the A52.
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