How they pick a mate:
Recent research has shown that males prefer to breed with females with plenty of spots on their thighs, a unique feature that seems to reflect a birds health.
How long before eggs hatch:
The owlets hatch out after about 30 days. The female begins incubation immediately after the 1st egg is laid. This means every egg will hatch on a different day. It will be another 3 months or more before they are independent after they hatch.
The ghostly, pale shape of the Barn Owl, most often seen as it hunts silently over fields at dusk, has excited much fear and suspicion among country-dwellers in the past, especially when the bird has uttered its typical rasping shriek-- a sound to make the blood run cold in the semi-darkness. But in truth this bird poses no threat to humankind. Instead it is a ruthless and efficient hunter of small mammals, such as rats, mice, and shrews, often doing a farmer a considerable service by nesting in an outbuilding or barn and keeping mammal numbers down.
Barn Owls have the keenest sense of hearing of any bird in the world.
Characteristics and Habitat
Size: 13-17 inches (33-35 cm)
Weight: 10-21oz (275-600g)
Habitat: Farmland, Marshes, Prairie and Desert
Population: Fairly Common Resident, Although Numbers Have Decreased In Recent Years.
The light at night:
Yes, they do have a light shining on them all night long. However, the light is called infrared and can't be seen by humans or animals. Only cameras can pick it up. If you walked out to that nest at night it would look pitch black outside.
What the Common Barn Owl looks like:
The Barn Owl looks unlike other owls, it has a peculiar heart-shaped face and small, black eyes. The arrangement reflects how it uses its senses. The eyes are of secondary importance in hunting prey; it is the ears that are used primarily. Its round face helps to amplify sounds, while the silent flight, typical of all owls, keeps background noise to a minimum. The ears are not symmetrical on the head, the left side is higher on the skull than the right. This means that sound traveling from below or above will arrive at one ear before the other, and this delay helps the owl to distinguish which direction the sound is coming from. The Barn Owl has three-dimensional hearing. It can catch food in complete and total darkness.
What is a pip?
A pip hole is a tiny hole that the eaglet inside the egg makes with its "egg tooth" (a sharp little point at the end of its beek) in the outside shell when it first starts to hatch.
During the first couple weeks after the owlets hatch the female will remain in the box during the day with the owlets. The male will stay close bye perched in a nearby tree during daylight hours. Once the owlets reach a certain size(usually a couple weeks from when they hatch) the female will leave the box and perch in a nearby tree during the day along with the male. At night the male and female both take turns feeding the owlets and then return to their perch by morning.
Where Barn Owls nest:
Barn Owls are not just in barns, but also can be found in churches and other buildings, including natural sites such as caves and tree-holes.
About the Nest:
There is no real "nest", the female just lays the 4-7 eggs right on the floor, usually among old owl pellets.