SNN (ScrollingNetworkNews) ✿ ✿ Our Mel and Sydney returned to their nesting box with plenty of bonding occurring..but after 2.5 months of Sydney in the box from Dec 2013 to mid Feb 2014, the lack of prey gifts from Mel ( perhaps due to the severe and historic drought underway in California)and they have forgone the nesting process this year as many other raptors ✿ Compared to other owls of similar size, the Barn Owl has a much higher metabolic rate, requiring relatively more food. Pound for pound, Barn Owls consume more rodents – often regarded as pests by humans – than possibly any other creature. ✿ We remind viewers that sometimes owlets may not survive - the parents will dispose of things in "The Owl Way" -viewer discretion is advised, this is nature and the "Owl way". ✿ ~ ✿ “Animals, like us, are living souls. They are not things. They are not objects. Neither are they human. Yet they mourn. They love. They dance. They suffer. They know the peaks and chasms of being.” ― Gary Kowalski, The Souls of Animals ✿ Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." ~ E.O. Wilson

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Mystery

This Owl  had me stumped! 
After discovering  this beautiful owl on the Internet with no information about it, I was on a mission to find out what subspecies did it belong to. I was in love with its coloring and had never seen one quite like it before.
I went to many Owl sites on facebook such as "The Owl Pages" and no one could help me with a name.

I knew that if anyone could solve the mystery it would be The Barn Owl Trust Conservation Officer Matthew Twiggs. 

He indeed came up with a answer.

The Australian Masked Owl (Tyto novaehollandiae) 
The facial disk is white and has short brown feathers around dark brown or black eyes forming a heart shaped outline. They are blackish brown with grey and white spots on the upper body.

The Masked Owl inhabits forests, woodlands, timbered waterways and open country on the fringe of these areas. The main requirements are tall trees with suitable hollows for nesting and roosting and adjacent areas for foraging. The range is a broad coastal band around most of mainland Australia and throughout Tasmania, and for the most part is less than 300 km from the coast. Population numbers are low on the mainland and several states give this species special conservation status. This owl is widespread and abundant in Tasmania.
Its unfortunate this Tyto is living in the Royal Melbourne Zoo, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Whilst Masked Owls are closely related to Barn Owls, they can be distinguished from the more widespread Barn Owl by way of their more intensely defined facial disk, pearl pink bill, heavily defined markings on wings and mantle, and heavier feathering down both tarsi, reaching almost to their very large and muscular feet.  A small male Masked Owl may be only slightly larger than a large female Barn Owl, but female Masked Owls can be up to twice the size of a Barn Owl.