Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Barn Owl
(Tyto alba)

Order:  Strigiformes
Family:  Tytonidae



Photo by Steven Ward [CC-BY-2.0], WC

Barn Owl Information

Length:  14 - 20"

Habitat:  Open or semi-open country such as farmland, meadows, marshland, and residential areas. Prefers habitat at low elevations. Requires trees with natural cavities or man-made structures (such as barns) for nesting.

Diet:  Mainly rodents, including voles, mice, and rats. Some birds, large insects, frogs, lizards, and snakes.

  Sounds and calls of the Barn Owl

Additional Information

Barn Owl
Description, distribution, behavior, diet, reproduction, predators, lifespan, and conservation status. Includes photos and range map. (From Wikipedia)

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

© J. Vallee

Barn Owl
Identification Tips

  • Wingspan: 44 inches
  • Large, nocturnal, predatory bird
  • Large, rounded head
  • Pale facial disks with dark frame
  • Tawny and gray upperparts with small black and white spots
  • White underparts with scattered dark spots
  • Sexes similar
  • Sometimes found in barns and silos
Similar species
The Barn Owl is easily distinguished from other owls by its face pattern. In flight, it lacks dark wrist marks found in Long-eared and Short-eared Owls.

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Sightings Map from eBird

Year-round sightings of the Barn Owl over last 10 years

The Barn Owl's winter range is very similar to its breeding range since, like most owls, it tends to stay on its territory throughout the year.

Christmas Bird Count Map
Historical CBC Map from USGS