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At Dromoland Castle

We have two species of owls on the estate – The Long Ear Owl and The Barn Owl. Two nesting boxes have been placed on the estate for Barn Owls as they sometimes struggle to find appropriate nesting areas. Rarely seen during the day, owls are only active late at night.

They are most frequently seen flying across roads in car head-lights. Their appearance is ghostly white, with no markings on the underwing although the long-eared owl has a dark comma mark. Given a close view, they show a remarkably intricate patterning on the wings, back and head. A loud shriek is the most frequently heard sound from owls. Owls hunt small mammals, frogs & shrews.

They have poor eyesight but excellent hearing and they can hear a mouse heartbeat from 4 m/16 feet away. Owls breed in ruined buildings, such as castles and to a lesser extent in outbuildings (barns/sheds). Breeding success is heavily dependent on the availability of suitable prey. Largely resident, though young birds will wander in search of new territories.