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Large White Owl Native?
updated: Jul 06, 2011, 1:15 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

Last night I saw a large white owl flying high above the corner of De La Vina and Los Olivos. Are there any native owl species that fit that description?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 190150P agree helpful negative off topic

2011-07-06 01:44 PM

Barn Owl! Your friend, eats rodents. So let's not put out rodenticide, since owls get poisoned when they eat poisoned rodent. We then end up with MORE rodents.

 

 COMMENT 190155P agree helpful negative off topic

2011-07-06 01:57 PM

Definitely a barn owl. I saw one in that neighborhood before. They fly silent, but when seen against the dark sky they really stand out. Love them! You can build a barn owl box to attract them and they will provide you with "free pest control". They make an almost electric sounding call.

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Barn_Owl/id

 

 COMMENT 190176 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-07-06 03:06 PM

And just FYI--barn owls are white underneath, with tan feathers "above". So if you ever see one sitting on a limb with it's wings folded, it will look tan--but it's the same species/owl.

 

 MACPUZL agree helpful negative off topic

2011-07-06 03:38 PM

Snowy Owls will occasionally wander through, but not as likely as a Barn Owl.

 

 COMMENT 190185 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-07-06 04:31 PM

Hedwig!

 

 COMMENT 190191 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-07-06 04:55 PM

Snowy Owls in SB? Really? How frequent is that, and is there a time of year I'd be more likely to see one? I would never have thought they'd come down this far (I don't know their range, but know they are an arctic species).

 

 JASE82 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-07-06 04:56 PM

I too am interested in knowing about Snowy Owls in SB

 

 COMMENT 190201 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-07-06 05:23 PM

We have a few year-round in our Goleta neighborhood - barn owls. They are NOT silent - they have a blood-curdling screech that can scare the crap out of you when they fly overhead.

 

 COMMENT 190218 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-07-06 06:17 PM

The Chumash Owl-Clan has very unique members..
My Mom was Owl medicine, & Owl sightings always have significance...not always to the viewer though ie: you may have seen it on it`s way to it`s destination.
Are you sure it was white all over, & not just on the bottom?
I`ll keep the intersection on note...thnx.

 

 COMMENT 190221 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-07-06 06:19 PM

I live within a block of the area mentioned . Lately I have been hearing an owl hoot and screech at night and early morning . Glad to have this guy as our newest neighbor.

 

 MACPUZL agree helpful negative off topic

2011-07-06 07:13 PM

I think they move south in the winter. I remember a Snowy Owl getting into the church at Mission San Luis Rey down by San Diego in about 1967, so they come pretty far south. Looking at Google, I don't see any documented sightings south of LA county, so no birders saw it.

 

 COMMENT 190339 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-07-07 08:07 AM

The Barn Owl is the bird you saw. It appears completely white at night when seen from below. The "top" half or back of the bird is a light tawny color. Its flight is silent - it has excellent hearing and can catch a mouse in total darkness, using its ears alone. They do frequently "screech' while flying or roosting. "Hooting" sounds are produced by the Great Horned Owl, a dark colored bird with the distinctive "ear" feathers (which it can raise or lower). Both of these owls are extremely common locally. You probabl;y have noticed many hit-by-car Barn Owls along the freeway recently as they often fly close to the ground when hunting.

 

 COMMENT 190349 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-07-07 08:32 AM

@339
Sadly I saw one by the side of the 101 20 minutes ago, though I think it was a G.H. Owl.....We've been watching a couple of Barn Owls that have been hanging around our yard recently. I now know what they sound like...a strange screech like sound as they call back and forth...nothing like The G.H.'s "Whoooo-whoo".

 

 SEEDLADY agree helpful negative off topic

2011-07-07 10:51 AM

Barn Owls make a range of sounds...when meeting in the evening prior to hunting, a pair will make short staccato "clicking or chirping noises to greet each other:

When an adult arrives at a nest there is excited chittering/squeeking from the babies.

When roosting or flying adult BOs will make that sharp spine-tingling scre-e-e-e--ch!

Great Horned Owls call back and forth with the Hoooo, hoo- hoo sound. Younger GHO screetch too, but it is more ragged and a bit lower that a Barn Owl screech.

Lately I've been able to watch a young GHO at dusk hunting from the utility pole across the street, flying into the lot next door, catching a rodent and going back to the pole top to eat. They make a lot of noise flapping, as opposed to the BO which are very quiet.

 

 COMMENT 190532 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-07-07 03:27 PM

So I put out an owl house in my back yard hoping for some of this rodent control. No owls moved in for the four years it sat there but this spring it now seems to have attracted a swarm of bees and one can see honeycombs through the "owl door."

 

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