Barn owl

Species profile

Name: the barn owl (Tyto alba) is the most widely found species of owl in the world and one of the most widespread of all birds. There are a number of closely related subspecies of barn owls that vary in size and appearance.

Appearance: barn owls typically have white to brown feathers with a distinctive white, heart-shaped face.

Size: they measure around 35 cm in length with wingspans up to 95 cm.

Diet: they specialise in hunting small mammals on the ground which they locate using their amazing hearing. They tend to hunt along the edges of woods or in rough grass strips by areas of pasture.

Did you know: unlike most owls, barn owls don’t hoot. Instead, they make a series of eerie shrieking and hissing noises. These unique sounds, together with their ghostly white feathers, have given them the name ghost or demon owl. In some cultures, they have been killed by those who fear the strange sounds or used in witchcraft to grant special powers to those who consume them.

Location: they are found almost everywhere in the world except for the polar and desert regions, Asia north of the Himalayas, most of Indonesia, and some Pacific Islands.

Where to see Barn owls

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see barn owls in the following places:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Loch Ness
very low
very good
very low
very good

Photo credit: jeanvdmuelen under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay

Leave a Reply