English Name : Barn owl
Scientific Name : Tyto alba
Family : Strigidae
Tamil Name : Koogai
Description: The barn owl is a medium-sized, pale-coloured owl with long wings and a short, squarish tail. A typical owl, golden buff and grey above finely stippled with black and white. Large round head with conspicuous stiff feathers surrounding a comically patched white monkey like face. The plumage on head and back is a mottled shade of grey or brown, the underparts vary from white to brown and are sometimes speckled with dark markings. The face is characteristically heart-shaped and is white in most species
Distribution and status: The barn owl is the most widely distributed species of owl, and one of the most widespread of all birds. It is also referred to as the common barn owl, to distinguish it from other species in its family, Tytonidae. Barn owls are relatively common throughout most of their range and not considered globally threatened. Part of its range is getting reduced due to human activities.
Habitat: It is inseparable from the haunts of Man. Deserted buildings and cities and ancient forts and ruins invariably provide shelter.
Habits: The barn owl is nocturnal over most of its range.. It also hunts by day. Barn owls specialize in hunting animals on the ground and nearly all of their food consists of small mammals which they locate by sound, their hearing being very acute.
Food: Studies of diet have been made in most parts of the bird’s range, and in moist temperate areas over 90% of the prey tends to be small mammals, whereas in hot, dry, unproductive areas, the proportion is lower, and a great variety of other creatures are eaten depending on local abundance. Most prey is terrestrial but bats and birds are also taken, as well as lizards, amphibians and insects. Even when they are plentiful and other prey scarce, earthworms do not seem to be consumed.
Life cycle: Practically all year.. Nest is a collection of straw, twigs and rubbish padded into tree hollows, holes in ruined walls or in the space between ceiling and roof of a dwelling house. The same site is used year after year, 4-7 eggs are laid which are white, smooth and roundish. unusually for such a medium-sized carnivorous animal, the barn owl produces large number of offspring with a high growth rate,
Photo source:http//. en.wikipedia.org