Earlier this week we talked about how owl families are formed. Today, let’s take a closer look at some of the common behaviors we see within barn owl families.
Barn Owl Mothers
While nesting, female barn owls tend to be skittish and restless. They don’t want to leave their nest unattended. She will leave if something scares her, but if that’s the case, she may not return to the nest at all. It’s best to leave nesting females alone during this time so you don’t put the owlets at risk.
If they’re scared away from the nest after the incubation period, they will return to it. However, in April or May after the owlets are born, you’re likely to find them in the nest by themselves during the day. They haven’t been abandoned – the parents are close by, enjoying the quiet for themselves.
Appetite of Owlets
Owlets eat a lot. Adult barn owls eat around one rodent per night. Owlets eat two to five times that. During breeding season, two adult owls with five owlets can eat as many as 3,000 rodents and small birds!
The parents will continue to feed their babies even after they start to fly on their own. They’ll first fly around 8 weeks of age and work to master the skills they’ll need to survive by themselves.
Check out the Habits section of our Habitat, Habits, & Prey guide to read more about barn owl behaviors! Read it here.