WE all know that spending time with nature can help to improve our wellbeing, both physically and mentally. But during these unprecedented times, connecting with the world around us has become more important. Even if you can’t get out for a walk, there’s still plenty of things we can do from home and in our gardens to enjoy wildlife.

The Dorset Wildlife Trust barn owl webcam has captured the lives of various resident barn owls for the world to see, over many years. With their distinctive heart shaped face and pale feathers, they can sometimes be seen skimming over fields and hedgerows in the hours of dawn and dusk as they look for prey.

Barn owls are superb hunters and everything distinctive about these beautiful birds is designed to help them hunt. Their curved facial disc helps them to hear as it directs sounds towards the inner ears, which are situated near their eyes. Each ear is shaped differently and one is slightly higher than the other to help the owl work out exactly where the sound is coming from. They have the most sensitive hearing of any animal ever tested - great for tracking down tiny mammals such as mice and voles to feed their young.

The soft wings of the barn owl help to maintain a smooth, silent, airflow, meaning they don’t stall when flying at low speed, which in turn means they have enough time to pinpoint their prey before pouncing.

Their large dark eyes are specially adapted to notice the slightest movement and their distinctive colouring helps them blend into their surroundings. If seen from above they will look similar to the scrubby grasslands over which they hunt and from below they will appear as a pale silhouette to any unsuspecting prey.

The pair of nesting barn owls have been together over the winter and have 5 eggs. We’re looking forward to seeing them hatch any day now.

Watch the Dorset Wildlife Trust webcam, sponsored by PFM Associates at: www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlifewebcam

By Lydia Harvey, volunteer for Dorset Wildlife Trust