Barn Owl guttata

The Barn Owl which occurs in the UK is unmistakable with its ghostly white plumage. ‘Our’ race Tyto alba is separated into over 30 subspecies, the nearest of which is present in Central and Eastern Europe known as Tyto alba guttata, also described as the Dark Breasted Barn Owl. Very occasionally these birds wander to the UK and have been known to interbreed with our white owl.

This week we discovered a brood in a box located on private land close to the upper Cuckmere, which contained two female Dark Breasted chicks, which we believe to be from a guttata parent.

In the photos, note the comparison between Tyto alba and the chick we ringed here in Sussex