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.

Stock Report Sponsored by

In Other News...

Edge Ice Center Open Labor Day

OWENSBORO, Ky. (9/4/15) — The City of Owensboro's Edge Ice Center will be open from noon to 4 p.m., this Monday, Sept.… Read More

KDA'S Mobile Science Activity Center is Coming to Webster County

FRANKFORT, Ky. (9/4/15) — The Kentucky Department of Agriculture's high-tech Mobile Science Activity Center will visit… Read More

Most Read This Week

September 04, 2015 21150

UPDATE: Attack on WKP Never Happened, Say Police

by SurfKY News
August 31, 2015 6926

Man Convicted of Hopkins Countian's Death Granted…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 6279

Madisonville Gaining Two New Businesses

by Ron Sanders
August 30, 2015 4082

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

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
September 02, 2015 3532

Investigation Leads to Meth Trafficking Charge

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

September 04, 2015 21150

UPDATE: Attack on WKP Never Happened, Say Police

by SurfKY News
August 24, 2015 12496

Teen Reports Slasher Attempted to Attack Him on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

September 04, 2015 21150

UPDATE: Attack on WKP Never Happened, Say Police

by SurfKY News
September 04, 2015 2015

Man Charged with Kidnapping 8-Year-Old Girl

by SurfKY News
September 04, 2015 861

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

by SurfKY News
September 04, 2015 763

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
September 04, 2015 678

Madisonville Christens New $1.1M Ladder Truck

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
September 04, 2015 676

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
September 04, 2015 665

Franklin Graham Offers Opinion on Kim Davis Case

by SurfKY News
September 04, 2015 653

Henderson, Paducah, Owensboro, Madisonville…

by SurfKY News
September 04, 2015 624

Owensboro Air Show, Century Aluminum Announce…

by SurfKY News
September 04, 2015 579

Harmful Algal Bloom Recreational Advisory Issued

by SurfKY News