Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Owl, Friend of the Farmer

Yesterday, the children of Class IV in my school were very excited, because an Indian Barn Owl was resting on their class windowsill. The children were careful not to disturb the owl, and took turns to peep at him. The owl had come here before the children arrived, and there were conjectures as to why he had selected that resting place. We hoped he was not sick.When I opened the window stealthily to capture him in my camera, he heard the slight noise and posed for me obligingly.
Tyto alba, the Indian Barn Owl is a pale nocturnal bird which lives and hunts near human settlements. It is a lonely bird, and usually lives in holes in trees. It is farsighted, and cannot see something which is very near. Its heart shaped face gives it the ability to hear the smallest sounds clearly, so that it can hunt in total darkness with only the help of its hearing. It makes eerie sounds like shrieks, hisses and snores.
The Barn Owl is a friend of the farmer and the gardener, because it eats astonishing quantities of rodents. A baby own can eat 5 mice at one go, and an adult can eat 10 rats in one night!The threat to the owl comes from humans, some of whom think that it brings bad luck. The owl can become sick by eating a poisoned rat, or by pesticides.
Since it is a non migratory bird, the owl can act as an early warning system for toxic contamination in the environment.
For more information, see .


  1. Very interesting, we do not have owls here on the island and I have never seen one. Looks as if he is taking a nap in the second photo.

  2. What a beautiful owl. I hope he's okay. Was he gone the next day?

  3. Wow..I have never seen a real owl before, wish I will see one too :D

  4. What a great story and wonderful photos. It is always good to teach children about wildlife and how important they are to the environment.

  5. Such a beautiful Owl - and very different from the Owls we see in this country. I hope he wasn't poisoned..?

  6. WOW! It almost looked wooden in appearance! And from the look of it, he looks quite intelligent too.

  7. Dear friends, thanks for your comments and concern about the owl. This morning, I was thankful to see that the owl had gone during the night. I think he had lost his way. The children felt a little disappointed that he had gone. Harry Potter books have made them love owls, whom they rarely see!

  8. That's so exciting! I haven't seen an owl for a long time. How wonderful that it came to rest on the window-sill...a learning experience for the children, and for us, too!

  9. Wow that is some photo and what a neat experience for the kids to see it up close.

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