Anyone lucky enough to have seen a barn owl in the wild will be struck by beauty and silence of this impressive hunter.
Such a sight in is now extremely rare in Northern Ireland with perhaps less that 50 breeding pairs as the birds are susceptible to wet weather, cold winters and loss of suitable habitat.
Sometimes known as the 'farmers friend', it derives this name from its diet of rodent pests which it hunts for at dusk and into the night.
The birds tend to nest in buildings such as barns or holes in trees laying between 4-7 eggs, though about 75% of the young die in their first year.
The barn owl is an extremely endangered species in Northern Ireland and is the subject of an Ulster Wildlife Trust survey in 2010.
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