Barn Owl

Category: Birds

The barn owl is a very prolific species, both in North America and across the globe. The barn owl is known for its distinctive voice and its heart-shaped face, which is lighter in color than the rest of its body. The barn owl is a carnivore and hunts its prey at night.

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Scientific & Common Names

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Class - Aves

Order - Strigiformes

Family - Tytonidae

Genus - Tyto

Species - T. alba

Common Names - Barn Owl, Common Barn Owl


The barn owl is a medium-sized bird. It stands approximately 29 to 44 cm tall. This bird is known for its distinctive heart-shaped face; the face is generally white, while the body is brown. Breeding

The barn owl lays between two and 18 eggs at a time and will generally have between one and three broods per year. The barn owl is a monogamous bird, and both parents share in the child-rearing duties. The birds stay close together during mating season and while their babies are young. They may roost separately at other times but remain bonded unless one partner is killed.


The barn owl is a hunter; it requires lots of open land in which to hunt. This bird hunts primarily by sound and not by sight. True to its name, this bird prefers to roost in barns, sheds, and other outbuildings. A cozy tree with a hole is also suitable for the barn owl. The barn owl eats small rodents, insects, and some plants. The barn owl is a nocturnal bird and does its traveling, hunting, and other activities under the cover of darkness.


The barn owl has the highest population of any bird species in the world. The mortality rate among baby barn owls is quite high. This contributes to a fairly short average life span of about four years for the species.

Present Status

The barn owl is very prolific in North America and is believed to be the bird with the highest population on the continent. The barn owl can be found in a wide variety of places; one generally does not have to travel far to find one.