Barn owls (Tyto alba) can use sound to catch prey in total darkness. Two barn owls were trained to strike protected loudspeakers emitting various artificial sounds. The accuracy of localization depended on the frequency, bandwidth, and temporal pattern of the test sound. Continuous pure tones of frequencies below 6 kHz and above 9 kHz were hard to localize. The accuracy improved as the frequency increased from 6 to 9 kHz. Within this range continuous sounds containing two frequencies were more accurately localized than either frequency alone. Sustained wide‐band noises always assured precise localization. The owls localized tone bursts more accurately than continuous tones. Whatever signals were used, accurate localization was largely due to the owls' ability to use the sounds for guiding the flight direction. The midcourse correction could occur during a flight lasting as short as 1 sec. When the signal was switched from one speaker to another after takeoff, the birds could strike the second speaker.
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M. Konishi; Sound Localization in the Barn Owl. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 July 1971; 50 (1A_Supplement): 148. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.1977708
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