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Barn Owl
Barn Owl

Today’s visit to SGNP was special to me. Busy trying to shoot the female Asian Paradise Flycatcher just near to the ticket gate of lion and tiger safari, I slowly approached the boundary walls of the nearby playground. Was wondering several crows hovering above me, did not have any clue what they were upto. With my eyes hunting for this small flycatcher on the nearby branches, I took baby steps approached ahead with minimal disturbance. To my surprise, I saw a big birdy hopping ahead. With this hop, the entire flock of crows immediately attacked it. It was a wounded Barn Owl. The first sighting of this birdy for me was during my school days. My immediate reaction was to flew away the crows. With nobody around, I had no clue what to do.. To my fortunate I could see a family close by and requested the gentleman to stand near the wounded frightened owl and I could get rescue. Ran with my bazooka (as if was running the marathon) headed towards the forest office nearby inquiring about some help. Unfortunately it being a Sunday there was nobody around and have to run to another forest office but again no luck. I came back to the spot thinking what needs to be done..

I could manage to call Mr. Avinash Kubal (Maharashtra Nature Park) and ask him if he could guide me to tackle this. He promptly gave me the contact details of SGNP Control Room – 022 28866449. With constant follow up, could manage to get help from their rescue team who came to that spot and helped me rescue this wounded birdy. Yes, I managed to hold this owl in my own hands and took it with the rescue team to the necessary camp for further help and medicine. A proud feeling indeed – my first rescue … J

The Barn Owl is the most widely distributed species of owl, and one of the most widespread of all birds. The Barn Owl is a pale, long-winged, long-legged owl with a short squarish tail. Tail shape is a way of distinguishing the Barn Owl from true owls when seen in flight, as are the wavering motions and the open dangling feathered legs. The light face with its heart shape and the black eyes give the flying bird an odd and startling appearance, like a flat mask with oversized oblique black eyeslits, the ridge of feathers above the bill somewhat resembling a nose. Its head and upper body typically vary between a light brown and a light colored and dark grey feathers. The heart-shaped face is usually bright white, but in some subspecies it is browner.

On average, within any one population males tend to be less spotted on the underside than females. The latter are also larger, as is common for owls. Nestlings are covered in white down all over, but the heart-shaped facial disk is visible soon after hatching.

Contrary to popular belief, it does not hoot (such calls are made by typical owls, like the Tawny Owl). It instead produces the characteristic shree scream, ear-shattering at close range. Males in courtship give a shrill twitter. It can hiss like a snake to scare away intruders, and when captured or cornered, it throws itself on its back and flails with sharp-taloned feet, making for an effective defense. Also given in such situations is a rasp and a clicking snap, produced by the bill or possibly the tongue. It is most recognizable by its "mask-like" face.

Disclaimer: This photograph is taken in the natural habitat. Incase if anybody needs the copy of this picture, please contact me. © All Rights Reserved by Yogesh Rane (www.junglebook.co.in / www.yogeshrane.com)

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 RSS  Disclaimer : This photograph is taken in the natural habitat. Incase if anybody needs the copy of this picture, please contact me. All Rights Reserved by Yogesh Rane (www.junglebook.co.in / www.yogeshrane.com)