Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster

Fish and Wildlife Seeks Barn Owl Nest Locations

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

© Copyright 2014 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 by using one of the social media links below.

button coupons
button classifieds

In Other News...

Owensboro Innovation Academy to Open in Fall 2015

OWENSBORO, Ky. (11/22/14) — The Owensboro Public Schools are finalizing negotiations with the City of Owensboro to… Read More

Most Read This Week

November 21, 2014 5472

Man Accused of Assaulting Coach During Basketball…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
November 18, 2014 5158

Couple Charged for Concealing Food in Infant Car…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 17, 2014 4637

Police Charge Woman for Drug Possession After…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 17, 2014 3908

Bremen Woman Ejected From Vehicle During Kentucky…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper S.C. Recke
November 19, 2014 3533

Two Killed When Vehicle Becomes Airborne, Strikes…

in Local (Owensboro) Top News by Daviess County Sheriff's Office
November 21, 2014 3316

Crashing Dump Trucks in Work Zone Cause Pennyrile…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
November 18, 2014 3233

Area Talent to Film Music Video at Merle Travis…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
November 19, 2014 3069

Three Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision on South…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gwen Smith
November 19, 2014 3041

Is Bankruptcy Your Best Option?

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 22, 2014 2907

One Injured in Two Vehicle Collion in Greenville

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Miria Thomas

Stories Trending Today

November 22, 2014 2907

One Injured in Two Vehicle Collion in Greenville

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Miria Thomas
November 21, 2014 1581

KSP Announces 'Cram the Cruiser' to Feed the…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Stu Recke
November 22, 2014 1519

Greenville Representatives Taking Part in Austin,…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
November 21, 2014 1487

Kentucky Employers to Save About $112 million

in General News For All Sites by Cathy Lindsey
November 22, 2014 1479

SAR Planning 'Triple' Revolutionary War Patriot…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Geoff Baggett
November 22, 2014 1405

Pennyrile Dulcimer Players Demonstrate Unique…

in Top News For All Sites by Ron Sanders
November 22, 2014 1391

Carve a Turkey Like a Pro

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 22, 2014 1331

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
November 22, 2014 1283

Prevent Fires at Home This Winter

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 22, 2014 1239

P'Pool Among Top Performing Child Support…

in Hopkins News by Cabinet for Health and Family Services

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss