Barn Owl

Tyto alba

Order

STRIGIFORMES

Family

Barn Owls, Typical Owls (Tytonidae & Strigidae)

Code 4

BANO

Code 6

TYTALB

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Barn Owl has a tremendously large range around the globe, spanning an astounding 44 million square kilometers. The population of the Barn Owl is thought to be around 5 million individual birds. This bird is native to areas with warm climates for at least part of the year in North and South America, Europe, southern Asia, Australia, and many Pacific islands. The Barn Owl has a current rating of Least Concern due to its large, stable population.

VOTE: ILLUSTRATION

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SUMMARY

Overview

Barn Owl: This medium-sized owl has a glaring white, heart-shaped facial disk, no ear tufts and long legs. The upperparts are orange-brown with fine white spots and dark bars, and the underparts are white with small black spots. It feeds primarily on small mammals and also takes small birds. It has a slow, silent moth-like flight. Sexes are similar, but females are darker in color than the males.


Range and Habitat North America

Barn Owl: Found in southern British Columbia and much of the U.S., with the exception of many northern states Occurs on every continent except Antarctica. Found in a vast range of habitats, from rural to urban, but prefers warm climates with mild winters. Nearby open grassland is essential; rarely found in deep forests or mountains.


Range and Habitat Hawaii

Barn Owl: Occurs on every continent except Antarctica. Naturalized resident in Hawaiian Islands. Found in a vast range of habitats, from rural to urban, but prefers warm climates with mild winters and usually occurs below 6,500 feet. Nearby open grassland is essential with some interspersed woodlands, though they rarely occur in deep forests or mountains.


Range and Habitat Palau

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INTERESTING FACTS

  • Barn Owls are encouraged to nest in certain agricultural areas because of their ability to control rodents better than traps or poisons and at no cost. Research indicates that they eat twice as much prey for their weight as other owls.
  • Their uncanny sense of hearing is aided by their asymmetrically placed ears. They are able to use this sense to capture prey hidden by snow or vegetation. Their ears have feathered flaps that can close to provide protection if they encounter sound that is too intense.
  • They typically approach their prey from a low flight path. Grasping the prey with their feet, they use their beak to bite through the back of the skull. Prey is swallowed whole. They are also known to cache food when nesting.
  • A group of owls has many collective nouns, including a "bazaar", "glaring", "parliament", "stooping", and "wisdom" of owls.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION



SONGS AND CALLS

Xeno-Canto Sound

Barn Owl F1

  • Title: Barn Owl F1
  • Recordist: Bram Piot
  • Description: Begging and pair calls.
  • Location: ug
  • Date: "7/18/2016"

Barn Owl P1

  • Title: Barn Owl P1
  • Recordist: Patrik Aberg
  • Description: Territorial scream or advertising call is a harsh "karr-r-r-r-ck".
  • Location: uk
  • Date: "7/18/2016"

Barn Owl P2

  • Title: Barn Owl P2
  • Recordist: Patrik Aberg
  • Description: Begging calls from a nest.
  • Location: uk
  • Date: "7/18/2016"

Lang Elliott Sound

Barn Owl 3

  • Title: Barn Owl 3
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Typical screams.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: CT

Barn Owl 4

  • Title: Barn Owl 4
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Juvenile begging snore.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: CT

Barn Owl 5

  • Title: Barn Owl 5
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Twitter calls, used by males when delivering food.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: TX

David Kuhn Sound

Barn Owl 1

  • Title: Barn Owl 1
  • Recordist: David Kuhn
  • Description: "Kleak" call
  • Location: HI
  • Date: "6/16/2014"

Voice Text

"Csssssshhh", "kiiissh", "shrreeeeeee-srreeeeee"

Vocalization

Barn Owl: Calls range from a rasping hiss to hair-raising screams of "kiiissh" and "shrreeeee, shrreeeee." Does not hoot like other owls.

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Chris Vest

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X