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Most of the prey they eat are active at night, so squirrels and chipmunks are relatively safe from Barn Owls.
Back to Top Barn Owls eat mostly small mammals, particularly rats, mice, voles, lemmings, and other rodents; also shrews, bats, and rabbits.
Somehow, a higher number of spots is correlated with offspring parasite resistance, and so males that pair with heavily spotted females gain substantial reproductive benefits.
However, males appear to look for females with more spots.
Back to Top The amount of food required for a Barn Owl depends on the size of the owl and the time of the year.
Though the owls appear to be specialized in hunting small mammals, this actually may only reflect the fact that these prey items are what the owls are most likely to encounter in their nocturnal habitat.
They occasionally eat birds such as starlings, blackbirds, and meadowlarks.
It has not been determined whether Barn Owls are specialist or opportunistic predators.
Nesting Barn Owls sometimes store dozens of prey items at the nest site while they are incubating to feed the young once they hatch.
The minimum interval between eating and casting is about 6.5 hours, but repeated small meals at intervals of less than 6.5 hours inhibit pellet regurgitation and result in large pellets containing remains of many meals.
In North America, Barn Owls have been found to produce one to two pellets per day on average.
Questions and Answers About Texas Barn Owl Events, June 6-7, 2016? Back to Top Many details about mate selection are not known.