The sounds of silence: Barn owl noise in landing and taking off

Arjan Boonman, Pazit Zadicario, Yael Mazon, Chen Rabi, David Eilam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A barn owl swooping down generated a quieter, almost silent, noise (acoustic impulses) compared to a louder noise generated by the owl when taking off. These acoustic impulses are at low frequencies which are below the auditory threshold to most rodents. Therefore, rodents are less likely to hear these noises of owl flight. A previous study revealed that rodents exhibit frantic response to an owl taking off (as opposed to their typical freezing response during owl attack). The frantic response could be the result of tactile reception of the air-puffs generated by the owl's wingbeats and may reduce the success in subsequent attacks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-488
Number of pages5
JournalBehavioural Processes
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Air puffs
  • Audiogram
  • Barn owl
  • Flight noise
  • Raptor-prey interactions
  • Surprise attack
  • Turbulence


Dive into the research topics of 'The sounds of silence: Barn owl noise in landing and taking off'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this