Demise of a Barn Owl

Friends of mine on the coast have a large garden and goats. Two nights ago they found this little barn owl dead in the goat yard. They’re pretty sure it was the work of a Great Horned Owl, a much larger (and territorial) owl. A raccoon got at it last night, and someone had taken the wings, and they were going to bury the remains. So I grabbed it. Look at those claws!

These are beautiful creatures, with a white face mask outlined with a heart-shaped ring of dark feathers (lower part of which you see here). I’m going to render the skull (boiling to remove flesh, immerse in ammonia for 10 days, clean some more, then in strong (35%) hydrogen peroxide to whiten).

7 Responses to Demise of a Barn Owl

  1. Anonymous says:

    Here is an Eagle Owl coming at you at 1000 per second


  2. The youngest daughter and I can go out to an enormous vineyard nearby, and as dusk turns into darkness, the barn owls fly out of a nearby eucalyptus grove and down to a well lit yard in the middle of the vineyard, which attracts most of the insects in the area. One evening we counted 27 owls going over our heads, in perfect silence.

  3. Lloyd Kahn says:

    Just remembered my post of about 5 years ago on an evening conversation I had with owls. At bottom of this long post:

  4. Lloyd Kahn says:

    c w: 27 silent owls, wow! "…Owls are lightweight and have a large wing area, which gives them a buoyant, effortless flight, and eliminates the need for noisy wing flapping. Owl feathers have special modifications that allow silent flight. Their flight feathers are long, soft, and tapered to further reduce sound.…"

  5. Anonymous says:

    how did your bones turn out?

  6. Lloyd Kahn says:

    Have not processed them yet. (In freezer.)

  7. Anonymous says:

    thanks for sharing.

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