Male Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Scientific name: Tyto alba

Did you know: The Barn Owl can hunt in complete darkness, relying solely on its exceptional hearing to pinpoint prey.

What Do Barn Owls Look Like? (how to identify them)

Barn Owls are remarkable for their striking heart-shaped face and ghostly appearance. 

These medium-sized owls feature a distinctive pale colouration with golden-buff mottled upperparts and pristine white underparts. 

Their large, dark eyes and absence of ear tufts give them a unique, otherworldly look that is unmistakable in the bird realm.

Differences Between Male And Female Barn Owls

Females generally exhibit a slightly richer, more speckled plumage compared to the males and are somewhat larger. 

This dimorphism isn’t just for show; it plays a crucial role during mating and territorial disputes.

What Do Barn Owls Eat?

In their role as nocturnal hunters, Barn Owls predominantly feed on small mammals like voles, mice, and shrews. 

Their hunting technique is a marvel of nature – they fly silently, thanks to their specialised feathers, enabling them to swoop down on unsuspecting prey effectively.

Where Do Barn Owls Live? (inc. migration info)

Barn Owls are truly cosmopolitan, found across the UK in open countryside, farmland, and along roadside verges. 

They don’t typically migrate but are resident birds, utilising old barns, hollow trees, and similar structures to roost and nest. These locations offer perfect vantage points for hunting and provide a safe haven for raising their young.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Barn Owls)

The call of the Barn Owl is not a typical hoot but a piercing scream that can be unsettling in the still of the night. This eerie sound serves as a communication tool among owls and a territorial warning to potential rivals.

Fun Barn Owl Facts (kid friendly)

  • Their feathers are specially adapted to muffle sound, allowing them to fly silently.
  • Even in complete darkness, a Barn Owl can catch its prey just by hearing it move.
  • The unique shape of their face helps direct sound to their ears.
  • Barn Owls usually mate for life, staying loyal to their partners.
  • They can turn their heads as much as 270 degrees to spot prey.
  • By controlling rodent populations, they keep the ecosystem balanced.
  • Except for the coldest regions and some islands, Barn Owls are found worldwide.
  • In many cultures, Barn Owls symbolise wisdom and are popular in folklore and art.

Barn Owl Video

Facts About The Barn Owl

Diet: Barn Owls eat: Mice, shrews, voles as well as some larger mammals and smaller birds.
Bird Family: Owls
Length: 32 - 40cm
Wingspan: 79 - 96cm
Weight: 250 - 350g
Scientific Name: Tyto alba

The Barn Owl Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Barn Owl Images

Male Barn Owl Male
Female Barn Owl Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile