About the Barn Owl
Ecological role and foraging behaviour
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Where suitable perches are available, a "sit and wait" or "post-hunting" method is also used - particularly in winter when energy conservation is important. Occasionally the bird will drop from its perch directly onto prey but more often it will switch to flight-hunting before the pounce. Hunting techniques vary according to habitat, ambient noise level, light levels, and wind. For example when hunting mice over bare ground, such as arable stubbles or sugar beat crops, the owl may see the prey very easily and pounce immediately. Compared to voles, mice are much more likely to see or hear the owl's approach. They are also faster moving and therefore much harder to catch.
In its ecological role, and in so many other respects, the Barn Owl is unique.
There is more information on this topic in the Barn Owl Conservation Handbook.