owl 300FRANKFORT, Ky. (3/21/13) – Researchers need the public's help in finding more nesting sites of Kentucky's remaining barn owls.
 
Barn owls, with their distinctive heart-shaped faces and dark eyes, were plentiful across Kentucky as late as the 1960s. Currently, however, there are only about 25 documented nesting locations statewide.
 
Wildlife biologists with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources need to locate as many barn owl nesting sites as possible to gain a deeper understanding of why this species has declined in the state.
 
Barn owls have gradually lost their historic nesting and foraging habitat as landowners cut down the old trees damaged by storms and converted pastures, hayfields and grasslands to row crops. Biologists, however, are looking for additional reasons for the decline. Researchers are also asking for the public to report any dead barn owls, so that specimens can be collected and examined.
 
Other more common owl species are often confused with barn owls. Barn owls have no ear tufts. They are a medium-sized bird, measuring 14-20 inches tall. However, they can appear larger when in flight due to their 3 1/2-foot wingspan. Barn owls have a whitish face and breast with whitish to pale cinnamon bodies. They do not hoot like some owls species. Instead, they screech and hiss, especially when approached. For more information on identifying barn owls, please see the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife webpage at: http://fw.ky.gov/owlidentification.asp.
 
Barn owls prefer open areas such as hayfields and pasture; they are usually not found in the woods. Although they often nest in hollow trees, barn owls also regularly nest in manmade structures such as old barns, silos, grain bins, chimneys, hay lofts and attics. They also may settle in older residential areas that have larger, cavity-prone trees.
 
Barn owls can nest year-round in Kentucky, although most of the nesting activity occurs from March through August. They do not build a nest of sticks and grass. Instead, they will lay their eggs directly on the surface of the nest site they choose.
 
For more information about barn owls in Kentucky and the research project, go online to http://fw.ky.gov/barnowls.asp.
 
Anyone with information about the location of a barn owl nest or a dead barn owl should contact Wildlife Biologist Kate Heyden at 1-800-858-1549, ext. 4475. Observers can also e-mail Heyden at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
 
Barn owls are sensitive to disturbance, so if a nest is found, it's best to leave the owls be and avoid attracting attention to it. Researchers are careful to document nests without disturbing the owls.
 
For the protection of owls and landowners, exact nesting locations and landowner information is strictly confidential and will not be released to the public. Information provided to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife for this study is used for research purposes only.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Seth Stewart
Photo provided by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

August 31, 2015 6414

Man Convicted of Hopkins Countian's Death Granted…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 27, 2015 4907

All is Well after MNHHS Lockdown

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 30, 2015 3827

UPDATED: 'He Fought the Law ... but, the Law Won'

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 27, 2015 2766

Kentucky Career Center Blood Drive Aug. 31

by SurfKY News
August 30, 2015 2352

Happenings, Meetings Listed for Following Week

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

August 06, 2015 18598

Muhlenberg Woman Reportedly Suffers Violent…

by SurfKY News
August 24, 2015 11848

Teen Reports Slasher Attempted to Attack Him on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

September 01, 2015 1524

Small Business Tax Credit Workshop

by SurfKY News
September 01, 2015 1333

Traffic Stop Leads to Meth Charge for Driver

by SurfKY News
September 01, 2015 1258

Central City Gospelfest Planned for September 2

by SurfKY News
September 01, 2015 1039

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

by SurfKY News
September 01, 2015 1031

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
September 01, 2015 987

Governor Lauds Launch of Kentucky's New I-Way

by SurfKY News
September 01, 2015 752

Annual 'Swingin' for Sadie' Tourneys Set for…

by SurfKY News
September 01, 2015 738

Child Injured in Wreck, Father Charged with DUI

by SurfKY News
September 01, 2015 604

Pet of the Day - Morty

by SurfKY News
September 01, 2015 545

Color Run Raises Funds for Cancer Research

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News