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British Owls - 11 May 2018
Royal Mail issued a set of 10 stamps depicting owls, five adult and five juveniles.
Stamp: 1st class Barn Owl Tyto alba
Card: RSPB, photo by R Brooks.
Postmark: Owls Close, Cambridge
Barn Owl – Tyto alba
Also known as the white owl and the screech owl, the Barn Owl is perhaps the UKs most familiar owl species – most often encountered as a ghostly shape caught in car headlights, or heard rather than seen with its unearthly screaming call. The Barn Owl hunts over all kinds of open country, and tends to nest on ledges inside farm buildings. It is unmistakeable with its white and gold plumage, heart-shaped face, long legs and small dark eyes.
While it is mostly nocturnal, it can also be seen out hunting on summer evenings. It hunts in flight, flying into the breeze for uplift and often hovering before making its strike – its prey mainly located by sound. Barn Owls became very rare following widespread use of the insecticide DDT in the 20th century, but their numbers are now recovering.