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Barn Owl(Scréachóg reilge) 52p

Barn OwlThe barn owl is found in every county in Ireland, but is not seen very often. A barn owl is busiest at dusk (just before it gets dark) when it’s hunting for its dinner. I suppose it is called a "barn Owl" because it mainly lives in barns near farmhouses.If you do see one, it looks ghostly, a whitish figure flying slowly; sailing over the ground and now and again swooping down to snatch a mouse, rat or insect. The barn owl lays 4 to 6 eggs. 

Usually it lays the eggs on a safe ledge in an old building where no one lives. The young owls hatch after 32 days and spend 64 to 86 days in the nest before flying. A baby owl is called an 'owlet'. They look very funny when them are only a few days old. Owls have terrific hearing, strong bills; sharp claws and long legs. Owls are a great help to farmers because their diet is mainly brown rats and small rodents, house mice and wood mice. If a rat or a mouse has eaten poison and a barn owl then eats it, the poison can also kill the owl. That's how a lot of them die. 

Unfortunately the number of owls in Ireland seems to be getting smaller. This is because they’re finding it more and more difficult to find private undisturbed nesting places. Pesticides (sprays which farmers use to kill insects which attack crops) have also affected the number of these birds in Ireland. I have never seen a barn owl but hopefully I will some day.

The stamp was issued in Phase 1 on January 16th. 1997. 

I know a joke about an owl-:

Why was the owl sent home from school ? 

Because he didn’t give a hoot. Get it!!!!!!

Written by --: Lawrence Lynagh.

           Click on the stamp to hear the sound of the bird