Tyto alba / Tyto alba affinis
The Barn Owl is a pale, long-winged, long-legged owl with a short squarish tail. Depending on subspecies, it measures about 25–45 cm (9.8–18 in) in overall length, with a wingspan of some 75–110 cm (30–43 in). Tail shape is a way of distinguishing the Barn Owl from true owls when seen in flight, as are the wavering motions and the open dangling feathered legs. The light face with its heart shape and the black eyes give the flying bird an odd and startling appearance, like a flat mask with oversized oblique black eyeslits, the ridge of feathers above the bill somewhat resembling a nose.
This is a bird of open country such as farmland or grassland with some interspersed woodland, usually below 2,000 m ASL but occasionally as high as 3,000 m ASL in the tropics. This owl prefers to hunt along the edges of woods. It has an effortless wavering flight as it quarters pastures or similar hunting grounds.
This little barn owl (also known as a Nonnetjies Uil) made nest in the thatched roof of the entrance gate at Mabula Game Reserve. Occasionally one will see him peeking down at all the people trying to get a picture of him.
Lat: -24.81, Long: 28.06
Spotted on Jul 6, 2006
Submitted on Feb 18, 2012