watercolour, Horadam paints, Canson paper 200g, 11×14″
The barn owls represent one of the two main strains of owl and clearly evolved a long time ago. There are about ten species but the Barn Owl is very widely distributed indeed. The forms can be rather different but the European one is the familiar white owl seen quartering rough ground like a huge pale moth at dusk. They have exquisite white plumage mottled with buff and grey. The facial disc is heart-shaped and the birds have long legs covered with white feathers. They feed on small mammals and their population and breeding performance depends on vole numbers. The characteristic call is a strange snoring noise which can be heard at a range of several hundred metres. The nest is generally in a tree hole or abandoned building.