Birds by Name – O
The Barn Owl or Common Barn Owl, Tyto alba, is the most widely distributed species of owl and is found almost everywhere in the world except polar and desert regions, most of Indonesia and some Pacific islands.
Barn Owls are generally between 33 and 39 centimetres in length with a wingspan up to 95 centimetres. The back is grey or brown, the underparts vary from white to brown, sometimes with some dark speckling and the face is heart-shaped and white in most species.
They lay between four and eight eggs in a nest in a hollow tree, old building or crevice in a cliff. Diet consists mainly of small mammals, voles and shrews being a particular favourite, and these are caught through sound.
Most Barn Owls are nocturnal hunters, but not exclusively.
Species: T. alba
The Oystercatcher, Haematopus ostralegus, is a large, quite stocky, black and white wading bird with a long, orange-red bill and reddish-pink legs.
In flight, it shows a wide white wing-stripe, a black tail, and a white rump that extends as a ‘V’ between the wings.
The Oystercatcher eats cockles and mussels on the coast and worms inland.