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Lifespan and predators
Unusual for such a good-sized and carnivorous animal, the Barn Owl emphasizes r-selection (as is their prey). Most individuals manage to breed only once in their life, falling victim to predators or accidents before being 2 years of age. While wild Barn Owls are thus decidedly short-lived, the actual longevity of the species is much higher – captive individuals may reach 20 years or more. But occasionally, a wild bird reaches an advanced age, such as about a dozen years or more. The American record age for a wild Barn Owl was 11 years and a half, while a Dutch bird was noted to have reached an age of 17 years, 10 months. Another captive barn owl, in England, lived to be over 25 years old. Taking into account such extremely long-lived individuals, the average lifespan of the Barn Owl is about 4 years, and statistically two-thirds to three-quarters of all adults survive from one year to the next. But as noted above, the mortality is not evenly distributed throughout the birds' life, and only one young in three manages to live to its first breeding attempt.