Barn Owl

Scientific Name:
Tyto alba
Sub-Saharan Africa
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About the Barn Owl

The Barn Owl (Tyto alba) is a widespread and widely recognized owl species found on every continent except Antarctica.


Barn Owls typically inhabit a variety of open habitats including grasslands, agricultural fields, marshes, deserts, and urban areas. They are often found in rural settings but can also be seen in suburban and occasionally urban areas where suitable hunting grounds are available. Barn Owls prefer areas with open fields or grasslands for hunting, as well as nearby structures like barns, abandoned buildings, or tree cavities for roosting and nesting.


Barn Owls are medium-sized owls, measuring approximately 33 to 40 centimeters (13 to 16 inches) in length. They have a distinctive heart-shaped facial disc, pale plumage with buff or tawny markings, and long wings with a wingspan of around 80 to 95 centimeters (31 to 37 inches). Their plumage serves as excellent camouflage against the bark of trees or the ground. Best Viewing The best time to view Barn Owls is during their active hours, which are typically around dusk and dawn. They are nocturnal birds, meaning they are most active at night, but they may also hunt during the early evening or early morning hours. Look for them perched on fence posts, tree branches, or other elevated structures near open fields or grasslands, where they hunt for small mammals such as mice, voles, and shrews.