Glimpse a barn owl pair through DNR webcam

Staff report
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosiers can get an inside look at the family life of barn owls through a new webcam operated by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 2.40.20 PM

This is a screen shot from a barn owl web cam set up by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. It shows a pair of birds that is nesting but hasn’t laid eggs.

The agency set up the video camera at a nesting box located in rural Southern Indiana to try to catch a pair of owls laying eggs and raising young.

A pair of birds has already started roosting at the box this spring but has not laid eggs.

“The barn owl is an interesting and rare bird,” said DNR non-game bird biologist John Castrale. “We hope people develop an appreciation for this seldom-seen species and learn more about the owls and their habits through the DNR barn owl web page.”

The webcam at wildlife.IN.gov/8183.htm is the first in Indiana to focus on barn owls, a state-endangered species with fewer than two dozen known nesting pairs in Indiana. The goal is to promote public interest in birds and raise awareness about efforts to support the barn owl.

The barn owl webcam can accommodate 20 viewers at a time.

Barn owls have nested at the webcam location for the past seven years.

The owls are known for a distinctive heart-shaped face, dark eyes and white to golden-brown feathers. They were once common in the Midwest, living in hollow trees and wooden barns and hunting hayfields, idle grain fields, pastures and other grasslands for meadow voles. But many wooden barns are being torn down, and few modern farms offer the land a barn owl needs for hunting.

The DNR’s wildlife diversity program has been placing nest boxes for barn owls since 1984. Barn owl breeding season typically begins in March and April, when a pair produces a clutch of three to 11 eggs, said agency officials. Usually the strongest three to four chicks will survive and leave the nest at eight to 10 weeks old.

 

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