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.
- Common Barn-owl (Tyto alba). The Internet Bird Collection. Lynx Edicions, n.d. Web. 20 July 2012. http://ibc.lynxeds.com/species/common-barn-owl-tyto-alba.
- Marti, Carl D., Alan F. Poole and L. R. Bevier. 2005. Barn Owl (Tyto alba), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/001
- Peterson, Roger Tory. Birds of Eastern and Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1980. Print.
- Tyto alba. Xeno-canto. Xeno-canto Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 July 2012. http://xeno-canto.org/browse.php?query=Tyto+alba.
- eBird Range Map - Barn Owl. eBird. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, N.d. Web. 20 July 2012. http://ebird.org/ebird/map/brnowl.