Cricket was part of a barn owl conservation release program. He was held back as an education animal. He arrived at Turtle Bay at 8-weeks old. The trainers names him Cricket for the chirping noise barn owls make when they meet each other at the nest site. Cricket is one of the most reliable animals we use in our educational shows at Turtle Bay.
About Barn Owls
Order: Strigiformes; Family: Tytonidae; Species: Tyto alba
Aka: Monkey-faced Owl, Ghost Owl, Heart-Faced Owl
Range: The barn owl is the most widespread owl in the world. It can be found throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
Habitat: Low elevation open country, agricultural lands and pastures.
Reproduction: Nests are located in buildings, hollow trees, and cavities in cliffs. They are also often found in man-made structures such as barns.
- The barn owl has the best hearing of all owls. They can hunt in total darkness using only their hearing. This is due to their highly developed facial disc. It is split down the middle of their face. This allows them to change the shape of the disc. When hunting, they use "triangulation" and make adjustments while in the air. Just before reaching the prey, they will hover momentarily and then shoot their legs out in front of them to make contact.
- Barn owls are one of the few owls that can hunt and make corrections while flying.
- Barn owls are sexually dimorphic. Males and almost completely white with spots on its underside. Females have more pigment and are more of a golden brown underneath.
- Most owls do not hoot. The barn owl makes a variety of hisses, chirps, and screams.
- The barn owl is endangered in many areas of the US and the world.
- When frightened, barn owls will let out a scream that sounds like a human baby.