Last Friday evening I was away from home for about an hour. Driving home I saw a nocturnal bird that I do not see all that often.
Sitting on a fence post opposite our driveway was a Barn Owl. It has been quite a few months since my last sighting around here. I fact, I haven’t even heard one for some time either. Its screeching call at night can be quite chilling – if you don’t know what it is.
Of course, being nocturnal, I do not have a photo, so go to the Birds in Backyards site for a photo, plus more information and a map showing distribution in Australia.
This species of owl is widespread throughout Australia, its preferred habitat being open farmland or open woodland. It feeds on small mammals, especially rats and mice, plus frogs, lizards, insects and small birds.
UPDATE: In 2010 I was able to get several good photos of the Barn Owl at Taronga Zoo, Sydney during the Free Flight Bird Show there.