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Natural History Museum
Here are some of my Barn Owl sketches. I am working on a painting of a Barn Owl at the moment so I have dug out these sketches that I did some time ago at the Natural History Museum. I made them sitting quietly on the floor, in an out of the way corridor, with display cases of stuffed birds. No-one seemed too worried about me sitting there with my watercolours out, but as I said it was very quiet.
Barn Owl with Mouse
Watercolour ~ just shy of A4
The Barn Owl is one of our most-loved birds. With its heart-shaped face and flecked, yellow-oche upper body and white underparts.
The Barn Owl is the most widely distributed species of owl in the world. It mostly hunts at night, but can also be seen out during the daylight. It eats mice, voles, shrews and other small mammals. It hunts by slowly flying, quartering the ground and hovering over areas where prey may be concealed. It can also be seen on branches and fence posts, where it can scan the ground.
During the 20th Century, the birds suffered a decline. This is thought to have been brought on by organochloride pesticides such as DDT in the 1950s and ’60s.
Barn Owls like to build a nest in undisturbed buildings, holes in trees and sometimes cliffside. Laying between 3-11 eggs. These are laid and hatch in intervals, thus the youngest and smallest can die if food is in short supply.
The Barn Owl is now protected and it is an offensive to disturb the birds, their nests, eggs or young at anytime.
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