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Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

Barn Owl (Tyto alba) Barn Owl (Tyto alba) Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

Class: Aves
Family: Tytonidae
Common Name: Barn Owl
Genus: Tyto
Species Name: alba

About The Barn Owl

A medium-sized (14-20 inches) owl, the Barn Owl is most easily identified by its tan head and body, pale breast, triangular facial disk (most owl species have round faces) and brown eyes. Part of a small group of owls mostly found in Australasia, this species is unlikely to be confused with owl species outside of its own family. Male and female Barn Owls are similar to one another in all seasons. Barn Owls occur across much of the globe. In the New World, this species occurs from extreme southern Canada and the northern United States south to the southern tip of South America, including the islands in the Caribbean. In the Old World, this species occurs in most of Europe, Africa, South Asia, and Australia. Barn Owls inhabit an enormous variety of open and semi-open habitats across this species’ wide range. These habitats include forest edges, grassland, scrub, meadows, agricultural fields, and even urban and suburban areas. Barn Owls eat a variety of small animals, primarily rodents (including mice, voles, and shrews). Like most owls, Barn Owls hunt at night, listening for movement in the undergrowth with their superb hearing and swooping down to capture prey. Birdwatchers may watch for this species at dawn or dusk, and may listen for this species’ grating “kschh” call. Barn Owls are primarily active at night.

Rights Holder: Unknown
Bibliographic Citation: Rumelt, Reid B. Tyto alba. June-July 2012. Brief natural history summary of Tyto alba. Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.

Trips Where Observed

Chile 2020
Galapagos Islands

Member Lifelists

Galapagos Islands
North America
San Francisco
South America
United States

Sites Where Observed

In nesting box at headquarters, might not be the correct date.
Barn Owl (Tyto alba)
In a highlands lava tube.
Seen after dark at the on-ramp to 580.
Bird that looked to be flying like an owl was flying low to the ground back and forth over the marsh and the grasslands near the visitor center about 1 hour after sunset.
Seen flying around the hill several times before finally flying over my head with a small mammal in its talons. Probably a Botta's Pocket Gopher.


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