Clipboard researched by Kathie Bozanich and Janice L. Jones / Los Angeles Times; Graphics by Doris Shields / Los Angeles Times


(Tyto alba )

Description: Pale with dark eyes in a heart-shaped face. Rust-colored above; underparts vary from white to brown.

Habitat: Barns or any dark cavity in rural buildings, cliffs and trees. Occasionally

found in suburban environments.

Diet: Rodents, occasionally amphibians, reptiles and insects.

Call: Makes a raspy, hissing screech.

Displays: Male claps wings together in flight, presents food to female.

Nest: Burrows into crevices, nest occasionally lined with wood chips.

Eggs: White, occasionally nest-stained. Elliptical; just under two inches long.

Natural history note: Populations are declining due to loss of habitat.

Breeding bird atlas: To report bird breeding activity in your neighborhood, or to get information on the breeding bird atlas, call Sea and Sage Audubon Society members Sylvia Gallagher, (714) 962-8990, or Nancy Kenyon, (714) 786-3160.

Note: Map is divided into 5-kilometer squares so that Audubon Society volunteers can more easily survey areas on a regular basis.

Sources: Sea and Sage Audubon Society; "The Birder's Handbook," Ehrlich, Dobkin and Wheye, Fireside Books (1988); "Field Guide to the Birds of North America," National Geographic Society (1987); "Birds of Southern California: Status and Distribution," Garrett and Dunn, Los Angeles Audubon Society (1981).

Indicates 5-kilometer-square areas where breeding activity has been confirmed.

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