The acoustical properties of the external ear of the barn owl (Tyto alba) were studied by measuring sound pressure in the ear canal and outer ear cavity. Under normal conditions, pressure amplification by the external ear reaches about 20 dB between 3-9 kHz but decreases sharply above 10 kHz. The acoustic gain curve of the outer ear cavity alone is close to that of a finite-length exponential horn between 1.2-13 kHz with maximum gain reaching 20 dB between barbour Sale Uk 5-9 kHz. Pressure gain by the facial ruff produces a maximum of 12 dB between 5-8 kHz and decreases rapidly above 9 kHz. The directional sensitivity of the external ear was obtained from pressure measurements in the ear canal. Directivity of the major lobe is explained, to a first approximation, by the sound diffraction barbour Jacket Uk properties of a circular aperture. Aperture size is based on the average radius (30 mm) of the open face of the ruff. Above 5 kHz, the external ear becomes highly directional and there is a 26 degree disparity in elevation between the acoustic axis of the left and right ear. In azimuth, directivity patterns are relocated closer to the midline as frequency increases and the acoustic cheap Barbour Uk axis moves at a rate of 20 degree/octave between 2-13 kHz. Movement of the axis can be explained, to a first approximation, by the acoustical diffraction properties of an obliquely truncated horn, due to the asymmetrical shape of the outer ear cavity. The directional Barbour Uk sensitivity of the barn owl ear was studied by recording cochlear microphonic (CM) potentials from the round window membrane. Between 3-9 kHz, CM directivity patterns are clearly different to the directivity patterns of the external ear; CM directionality is abruptly lost above 10 kHz. Above 5 kHz, CM directivity patterns are characterized by an elongated major lobe containing the CM axis, forming a tilted band of high amplitude but low directionality (CM axial plane), closely bordered by minima or nulls. The highest directionality is found in the CM directional plane, approximately perpendicular to the CM axial plane. The left and right ear axial planes are symmetrical about the interaural midline (tilted 12 degrees to the right of the midline of the head) and inclined by an average of 60 degrees to the left and right respectively. In azimuth, the CM axis moves towards the midline at a rate of 37 degrees/octave as frequency increases from 2-9 kHz, crossing into contralateral space near 7 kHz.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)