Friday, 5 July 2013

Talon Flange

As Barn owls grow they develop a serrated flange on the edge of their middle talon and this is used almost as a comb for preening the edges of their facial disc.It is essential for the owl's hearing that the disc is in pristine condition if he is to hunt successfully.
The flange emerges as the Barn Owl grows and it is fully developed by the time that the owl is two years of age. 
This particular bird was ringed as a chick by me in 2009 and today he was located in his favourite roost box with his long-term mate. It is clear to see how his talon flange has developed and how smart his preening has made him!

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