Late afternoon Barn owls

Each afternoon around 5pm, just as the light is fading a Barn owl appears over the wildflower meadow.

A barn owl’s Latin name is Tyto alba literally means White owl, but in folklore it has many different names Banshee, Billy Whit, Death owl, Farmer’s friend, Ghost owl, screech owl, rat owl, and screaming owl.

I believe this is the owl responsible for the owl pellets in my last blog post, although I have spotted a second owl further along my local patch.

Hopefully, this is a male and female owl meaning there might be a good boost to the local owl population.

Over the past few months of constant wet weather, barn owls have been struggling to survive. The problem lies in the feathers not being waterproof meaning they can’t fly in the rain and have been starving to death.

The reason for the feathers not being waterproof is that the preen oil or powder dust that other birds use for waterproofing stops the feathers being so soft. It is the softness of the feathers that makes the owl’s flight so silent.

I’m looking forward to spending some more time photographing and filming the owls as the evenings get lighter.

Barn owl and deer


Some afternoons, while waiting for the barn owl to appear I’ve been taking photos of the Roe deer.


One sad thing that happened recently was one of the foxes (see below) that I take photos of was knocked down and killed on the road.

Please slow down for wildlife!


About Alex White - Appletonwild

This is my diary of the wildlife where I live in Oxfordshire, and sometimes the places I visit. My passion is for British wildlife, especially Badgers and Hares. This year my debut book "Get Your Boots On" was published I am a keen amateur photographer. All the photographs on this blog are taken by myself unless stated otherwise. I am a member of A Focus on Nature, the network for Young Nature Conservationists, BBOWT, The Oxon Mammal group and The Oxfordshire Badger Group. You can also follow me on Twitter @Appletonwild Instagram appletonwild
This entry was posted in Barn owl, birds, Blogging, Environment, fox, Local patch, mammals, nature, photography, Uk nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Late afternoon Barn owls

  1. Sorry to hear about the fox, and about the owls dying because of too much rain. How exciting that you have been able to watch and film this and another one. I hope they will be able to have offspring!

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Helen White says:

    I had no idea about the non waterproof feathers. This time last year, we had a barn owl in the meadows by our little river in Berkshire and she would fly every afternoon in broad daylight, week after week…I managed to get dozens of photos, it was magical to witness….and then she (of course, “she” is a guess) was gone by the end of March, haven’t seen her since. Really hoping she or her offspring have survived. So sorry to hear about the fox. Saw one close-by in the local woods the other week (by far the closest I’ve ever been to one)…carrying something very large and bloody off into the scrub, again it was magical to get so close with a prime view in daylight.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. shazza says:

    I was once walking the dog in nearby field and a completely silent white barn owl glided past us. Was breathtaking. Great pictures. Sorry about the fox. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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