The use of IR thermography to measure the radiative temperature and heat loss of a barn owl (Tyto alba)

Infrared (IR) thermography was used to identify the major sites of heat loss from a female barn owl at an air temperature of 17.6°C. When perched, the mean radiative temperature of the owl was 21.1°C (SD=3.5). The facial disc averaged 23.9°C (SD=9.1) and the temperature of the eyes was greater than 33°C. Images showed an […]

Dominant nestlings displaying female-like melanin coloration behave altruistically in the barn owl

When competing over parental resources, young animals may be typically selfish to the point of siblicide. This suggests that limited parental resources promote the evolution of sibling competition rather than altruistic or cooperative behaviours. In striking contrast, we show here that in 71% of experimental three-chick broods, nestling barn owls, Tyto alba, gave food to […]

Barn owls do not interrupt their siblings

Animals communicate with conspecifics to resolve conflicts over how resources are shared. Since signals reflect individuals’ resource-holding potential and motivation to compete, it is crucial that opponents efficiently transmit and receive information to adjust investment optimally in competitive interactions. Acoustic communication is particularly flexible as it can be quickly modulated according to background noise and […]