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

July 30, 2015 4054

Webster Man Leads Police on Chase through Parts…

by SurfKY News
July 31, 2015 3923

Miss Hopkins County Fair 2015 Chosen

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 2732

24th Annual Miss Teen Hopkins County Fair Pageant…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 29, 2015 2627

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - July 29, 2015

by SurfKY News
August 01, 2015 2529

Little Miss, Mister Hopkins County Fair Chosen

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

July 17, 2015 16898

Muhlenberg Most Wanted - Top 10

by SurfKY News
July 23, 2015 15883

UPDATE: Family Confirms Body of Missing Teen…

by Shawn Freels, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

August 04, 2015 2138

Hopkins School System Has More Hiring to Do

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 03, 2015 1722

Tiniest Division of Hopkins County Fair Pageants…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 03, 2015 1548

Two Injured in Motorcycle Accident

by SurfKY News
August 04, 2015 1479

No. 9 Steakhouse Owners Working to Rebuild Dream

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 03, 2015 1362

Man Accused of Using Craig's List to Encourage…

by SurfKY News
August 04, 2015 1332

UPDATE: AT&T Engineers Identify Phone…

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 03, 2015 1168

Back To School Bash Brings Crowd to Mall

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 03, 2015 1129

Madisonville Police Reports Released

by SurfKY News
August 03, 2015 1118

Two Vehicle Collision Injures One, Driver…

by SurfKY News
August 03, 2015 998

Vehicle Accident Results in One Fatality

by SurfKY News