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Sunday, May 1, 2016

The benefits of Barn Owls

Thursday, August 25, 2011

There are 18 different owl species found within North America. Of those 18 different species, one of the species we are all more familiar with is the Barn Owl.

Barn Owls are known for their heart-shaped face and unique hisses, snores and whistles.

Barn Owls reside in a different family than most owls because they have long legs and a heart-shaped facial disk (most owls have shorter legs and round facial disks).

These owls are characterized as having white, heart-shaped faces and a cinnamon wash on the rest of their body.

Since these owls are lighter in color, they have given rise to many myths about owls and ghostly hauntings.

As their name suggests, Barn Owls can often be found in and around barns, hollow trees, old buildings and church towers making their nests.

When they are not nesting, you will also find them in grasslands and woods.

They will generally have five-seven eggs that will incubate for roughly 33 days.

Landowners are not usually upset when they find out they have Barn Owls on their property since they do help control rats, mice, shrews and insect populations.

If you would like to learn more about owls and other raptors, then you might want to stop by the third Nature Day hosted by Purdue Extension in Clay County.

This event will take place Sept. 10, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Clay County Fairgrounds.

That day, you will have the chance to interact with many different natural resource based organizations and associations.

There will be information there about invasive plants, edible plants, gardening, butterflies, birds (raptors, especially) and more.

If learning about invasive plants is not something that appeals to you, then maybe listening to the presentations that will be given that day will.

At 11 a.m., we will have a presentation on snakes.

Then at noon, there will be a presentation on raptors.

Also, new this year is the photography contest.

The contest is open to everyone (there are youth and adult divisions).

The theme is "Outdoors in the Wabash Valley." All entries need to be at the Clay County Extension Office Sept. 9, and will need to be either framed for hanging or salon mounted.

There is something for everyone at this year's Nature Day and the best thing about it is that it is absolutely free.

So bring the whole family to the exciting educational event open to everyone.

As always, if you have any questions or would like more information on any agriculture, horticulture or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Sept. 5 -- Labor Day, Extension Office is closed,

* Sept. 9 -- Nature Day Photography entries due to the Clay County Extension Office, and

* Sept. 10 -- Nature Day, Clay County Fairgrounds, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Presentations on snakes (11 a.m.) and raptors (noon).