These Are the Most Fascinating Things About Galapagos Barn Owls

The Galapagos Barn Owl has a heart-shaped facial disc and large, dark eyes. The facial disc is used to collect sounds from below and bring them to the ears, like a satellite dish.

It has excellent low-light vision, and can easily find prey at night by sight. But its ability to locate prey by sound alone is the best of any animal that has ever been tested. It can catch mice in complete darkness, or hidden by vegetation or snow.

Their normal attack method is to hover over fields of grass, very low, while listening for the movements of rodents below. Each one of their ears can hear a different range of tones, and with this the owl is able to ‘Triangulate’ the exact location of the rodent below, without ever seeing it! Since each ear is located, on the head, at different locations, the barn owl can receive sounds in its brain at different times.

They roost and nest on ledges inside collapsed lava tubes. Although rodents are their preferred prey, these opportunistic predators also prey upon reptiles and other birds. Barn Owls swallow their prey whole or in large chunks.

They digest the soft tissues and regurgitate the indigestible parts of the prey such as scales, bones, feathers, and fur as walnut-sized pellets. In time, only the bones and skulls remain, and eventually they become fossils. Barn Owls typically regurgitate pellets close to their nests and roosting places.

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