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

In Other News...

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released - May 27, 2015

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (5/27/15) — The Madisonville Police Department released the following reports Wednesday, May 27.… Read More

Crofton Resident Completes KSP Training

CHRISTIAN COUNTY, Ky. (5/26/15) — Crofton resident Tracy Maddox received her Kentucky State Police Telecommunications… Read More

Most Read This Week

May 22, 2015 7697

Madisonville Man Charged with First-Degree Rape

by SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 7526

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 5162

VIDEO: Sparks Fly Over Hanson Rezoning Issue

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 25, 2015 3527

Can Sunscreen Save Your Life?

by Melissa Patrick
May 21, 2015 3478

Police Charge Madisonville Man with Harassing…

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

May 15, 2015 10883

New Madisonville Business In Full Operation Soon

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 22, 2015 7697

Madisonville Man Charged with First-Degree Rape

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

May 27, 2015 5162

VIDEO: Sparks Fly Over Hanson Rezoning Issue

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 2783

Mandarin House Gearing Up to Open Soon

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 2622

Large Necklace on Rearview Mirror Lands Driver in…

by SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 2136

Midnight Ride on Rabbit Ridge Ends in Jail

by SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 1989

Governor Announces Hopkins County as Kentucky…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 1839

Two Central City People Jailed on Meth Charges

by SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 1585

Bremen Man Charged with Concealed Brass Knuckles…

by SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 1485

Veterans Honor Veterans

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 1321

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - May 27, 2015

by Crime Stoppers
May 26, 2015 1299

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

by SurfKY News