Adaptions – Hearing
- The hearing of barn owls is extremely good because:
The external openings to the ears which are positioned on the margins of the facial disk are of slightly different size and one ear is slightly higher than the other.
- There is a stiff line of feathers that forms the edge the facial disk and these reflect sound towards the ears.
- The ear openings are protected by adjustable flaps which combined with the other features allow the barn owl to judge the source of rustless and squeaks on the ground with a high degree of accuracy.
Experiments have shown that a barn owls hearing is an essential complement to its vision when it comes to its nocturnal lifestyle and when hunting in particular as it can locate its prey in complete darkness by sound alone.