Barn Owl

Irish Name: Scréachóg reilige
Scientific name: Tyto alba
Bird Family: Owls
red
Conservation status

Status

Scarce resident mainly in central and southern Ireland. No longer breeds in large patches of northern, western and eastern Ireland. Red-listed in Ireland due to a significant decline in the breeding population. The European population is currently evaluated as Declining.

Identification

Rarely seen during the day, only active late at night. Most frequently seen flying across road in car head-lights. Appears a ghostly white, with no markings on the underwing - Long-eared owl has a dark comma mark. Given a close view, shows a remarkably intricate patterning on the wings, back and head.

Voice

A loud shriek is most frequently heard

Diet

Hunts small mammals and frogs. In Ireland, found to be very dependent on Greater White-tooted Shrew with other small mammals forming a much smaller percentage of prey caught.

Breeding

Breeds in ruined buildings, such as castles and to a lesser extent in outbuildings (barns/sheds). Will use special nest boxes. Breeding success heavily dependent on the availability of suitable prey.

Wintering

Largely resident, though young birds will wander in search of new territories.

Monitored by

Barn Owl Project, BirdTrack and Countryside Bird Survey.

Blog posts about this bird

News

BirdWatch Ireland Celebrates 50th Anniversary

[vc_row type="in_container" full_screen_row_position="middle" scene_position="center" text_color="dark" text_align="left" overlay_strength="0.3" shape_divider_position="bottom"][vc_column column_padding="no-extra-padding" column_padding_position="all" background_color_opacity="1" background_hover_color_opacity="1" column_link_target="_self" column_shadow="none" column_border_radius="none" width="1/1" tablet_width_inherit="default" tablet_text_alignment="default" phone_text_alignment="default" column_border_width="none" column_border_style="solid"][vc_column_text]Initially set up as the Irish Wild Bird Conservancy or IWC in 1968. BirdWatch Ireland as it is now known has gone from strength to strength over it's 50 years in existence. BirdWatch Ireland is now Ireland's largest independant wildlife conservation organisation, annually carrying out vitally important works for protecting birds and biodiversity (which just so happens to be our motto). This work includes; surveys and monitoring of birds and their habitats, so we can keep a finger on the pulse of wildbird populations and implement protective measures if these populations are negatively impacted by anthropogenic or other negative factors. In addition, the important policy and advocacy work we carry out around the clock means that Irish wildlife has the strongest possible voice in the halls of power across Ireland and indeed Europe. Explore our website and find out more about some of this critical ongoing work. To ensure the protection of our wildlife for future generations it is imperative to provide education for the next generation of wildlife lovers. In achieving this we have collaborated with our European BirdLife partners to produce teacher training resources and subsequently delivered this material through teacher training workshops. BirdWatch Ireland acts as a unified voice for the concerns of our passionate and dedicated wildlife supporters, without whom the organisation would certainly not be in the respected position it is today. On the occassion of BirdWatch Irelands 50th Anniversary, everyone in the organisation would like to say a very special thank you to our members and supporters. If you are not already involved with BirdWatch Ireland Click the Become A Member tab and make a difference for your wildlife today. Here's to another 50 years protecting Ireland's Birds and Biodiversity. Read More in Wings about the Roots of BirdWatch Ireland:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type="in_container" full_screen_row_position="middle" scene_position="center" text_color="dark" text_align="left" overlay_strength="0.3" shape_divider_position="bottom"][vc_column column_padding="no-extra-padding" column_padding_position="all" background_color_opacity="1" background_hover_color_opacity="1" column_link_target="_self" column_shadow="none" column_border_radius="none" width="1/1" tablet_width_inherit="default" tablet_text_alignment="default" phone_text_alignment="default" column_border_width="none" column_border_style="solid"][vc_column_text][birdwatch-publication-list filters='false' number-posts='false' ids='6611'][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type="full_width_background" full_screen_row_position="middle" bg_image="5020" bg_position="center top" bg_repeat="no-repeat" parallax_bg="true" parallax_bg_speed="fast" bg_color="#f7f7f7" scene_position="center" text_color="light" text_align="left" top_padding="85" bottom_padding="90" overlay_strength="0.3" shape_divider_position="bottom" shape_type=""][vc_column enable_animation="true" animation="fade-in-from-bottom" column_padding="padding-1-percent" column_padding_position="all" background_color_opacity="1" background_hover_color_opacity="1" column_link_target="_self" column_shadow="none" column_border_radius="none" width="1/2" tablet_width_inherit="default" tablet_text_alignment="default" phone_text_alignment="default" column_border_width="none" column_border_style="solid"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1556289037459{margin-bottom: 50px !important;}" el_class="title-line"]

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Please support us! With a donation of your choice, you can help us to carry on our important work for the protection of birds and biodiversity in Ireland, to have our voices heard in the corridors of power, to monitor and maintain healthy bird populations and to deliver comprehensive environmental education to the next generation.[/vc_column_text][nectar_btn size="large" button_style="see-through-2" hover_text_color_override="#ffffff" icon_family="none" url="/about-us/50th-anniversary/" text="Support our 50th Anniversary Appeal"][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding="no-extra-padding" column_padding_position="all" background_color_opacity="1" background_hover_color_opacity="1" column_link_target="_self" column_shadow="none" column_border_radius="none" width="1/2" tablet_width_inherit="default" tablet_text_alignment="default" phone_text_alignment="default" column_border_width="none" column_border_style="solid"][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Similar Species

Long-eared Owl

Irish Name:
Ceann cait
Scientific name:
Asio otus
Bird Family:
Owls

Short-eared Owl

Irish Name:
Ulchabhán réisc
Scientific name:
Asio flammeus
Bird Family:
Owls