Photo: Barn owl family finds the perfect home

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Our photo of the day reveals that barns take many shapes.

When I was in grade school one of my regular tropes rendered in crayon was a hole in a tree with an owl within. Like kids everywhere, I knew that tree hollows were the magical spots where owls lived. As an adult, I have (sadly) never witnessed this in person. But thankfully, photographers like DeeDee Gollwitzer, who took the photo above, provide proof that this is more than just a picturesque myth.

And as it turns out, cozy nooks in trees are not the only places that barn owls like to call home. Barn Owl Trust notes that historically, a significant proportion of barn owls nested in church towers in the UK. In addition to towers and trees, they live in "castles, dovecotes, derelict cottages, chapels, chimneys, bridges, walls, sea cliffs, quarry faces, mine buildings, mine shafts, disused factories, bunkers, observation towers, and water towers. Basically they will use anything that provides what they need: somewhere that gives them shelter from rain and wind and where they ‘feel safe.'" Oh, and barns.

Here, the happy barn owl family has taken up residence in a large sycamore tree – the tiny owlet peeking out from behind mom on the right is the clincher.

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