Barn Owl – Food | Lifespan | Flying | Habitat | Facts

barn owl

Barn owl, scientific name Tyto alba is a nocturnal bird of prey with massive eyes and a coronary heart-formed face. Barn owls (household Tytonidae) are one of many two households of owls, the opposite being the true owls or typical owls, Strigidae.

Barn Owl

They’re medium to massive owls with massive heads and attribute heart-shaped faces. They’ve lengthy, robust legs with highly effective talons.

Additionally, they differ from the Strigidae in structural particulars relating specifically to the sternum and toes.

The barn owls are a wide-ranging household, though they’re absent from northern North America, Saharan Africa, and huge areas of Asia.

They reside in a variety of habitats from deserts to forests, and from temperate latitudes to the tropics.

The vast majority of the twenty dwelling species of barn-owls are poorly identified. Some, just like the purple owl, has barely been seen or studied since their discovery, in distinction to the widespread barn-owl, which is likely one of the greatest identified owl species on the earth.

Nevertheless, some subspecies of the widespread barn-owl probably should be separate species, however, they are very poorly identified.

5 species of the barn owl are threatened, and a few island species have gone extinct in the course of the Holocene or earlier (e.g. Tyto pollens, identified from the fossil document of Andros Island within the Bahamas, and probably the idea for the legendary Chickcharnie). The barn owls are principally nocturnal, and usually non-migratory, dwelling in pairs or singly.

Total there are about 216 species of owls, with round 200 within the typical owl household, and 16 species within the barn owl household. The chook most usually generally known as the barn owl is Tyto alba, which is what we concern ourselves with right here.

The diversifying impact of the genetic isolation discovered on islands is sort of evidence within the subspecies of Tyto alba: of the 35 races, 20 inhabit solely comparatively small islands. In actual fact, the worldwide vary of the barn owl is generally achieved by way of the ranges of solely 11 of its subspecies.


The barn owls’ predominant attribute is the heart-shaped facial disc, fashioned by stiff feathers that serve to amplify and find the supply of sounds when searching.

Additional variations within the wing feathers remove sound brought on by flying, aiding each the listening to of the owl listening for hidden prey and maintaining the prey unaware of the owl.

Barn-owls general is darker on the again than the entrance, often an orange-brown color, the entrance being a paler model of the again or mottled, though appreciable variation is seen even amongst species.

Owls of all types have been identified to assault individuals when defending their younger, their mates, or their territories.

Frequent targets embody unsuspecting joggers and hikers. Usually, victims escape without damage, and deaths from owl assaults are extraordinarily uncommon.

The bay-owls carefully resemble the Tyto owls, however, they have a divided facial disc, ear tufts, and are typically smaller.


The barn owls uncommon facial disc helps them find their prey. It captures and focusses sound into its ears that are positioned, one barely above the opposite, subsequent to the eyes.

Their listening is so acute that they will seize a mouse in whole darkness.

The barn owls feathers are tailored for silent flight. The perimeters of their flight feathers are furry and their physique feathers are downy mushy, so there isn’t a rustling of feathers once they transfer.

The furry edges decelerate their flight. The flexibility to make a shock assault is way extra essential than velocity.

When shocked in their roost or nest barn owls react by crouching, spreading wings, fluffing feathers, and hissing.

If approached by an intruder they may stand to bolt upright and look as slender as attainable (like a stick) eyes barely open – “I am watching you”.

The place do barn owls go in the course of the day?

Some Barn Owls spend quite a lot of time in the course of the day simply sitting round on fence posts.

Usually, these birds are to be seen around mid-day, however generally within the mornings and afternoons, and clearly, a few of the owls I see are apparently not excited about searching.


Desert woodlands, grasslands, farmlands, caves, and buildings. Barn owls roost and nest in massive, deep tree hollows.

The Barn Owl occupies a variety of habitats and altitudes, together with deserts, grasslands, forests, agricultural fields, and concrete areas. This species is widespread in most habitats all through the state.

They’re discovered around agricultural areas or basalt cliffs, in addition to forest openings, wetlands, and different open areas.


Barn owls are discovered on each continent on the earth besides Antarctica.

Wild Status


Conservation standing

Least concern (IUCN 3.1)

Weight loss plan

Barn owls hunt small mammals and geckos within the darkness and silence of the nighttime.

They regurgitate the undesirable bones, fur and pores, and skin of their prey as pellets which can be lined with sticky mucous designed to guard the chook’s throat when they’re being coughed up.

The pure weight loss plan of the Barn Owl within the wild contains small mammals, primarily Discipline Voles, Frequent Shrews, and Wooden Mice.

A Barn Owl will often swallow small prey gadgets completely. It’s a lot better to supply small meal gadgets for Barn Owls relatively than small components of bigger animals (reminiscent of items of meat).

Barn Owls are birds of prey or raptors – specialized hunters on the high of the meals chain, which implies that they should eat prey animals to outlive.

Prey animals – primarily small mammals – eat different smaller creatures or crops, seeds, and fruits. Crops get their power from the solar, and from rainwater, air, and soil.

Barn Owls eat principally small mammals, notably rats, mice, voles, lemmings, and different rodents; additionally shrews, bats, and rabbits.

A lot of the prey they eat is energetic at night time, so squirrels and chipmunks are comparatively protected from Barn Owls. They often eat birds reminiscent of starlings, blackbirds, and meadowlarks.

Their weight loss plan consists of invertebrates (reminiscent of bugs, spiders, earthworms, snails, and crabs), fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and small mammals.

For instance, Scops and Screech Owls feed on bugs principally, whereas Barn Owls eat primarily mice, shrews, and voles.

The number of meals required for a Barn Owl will depend on the dimensions of the owl and the time of the 12 months.

They devour extra meals within the winter and when they’re very energetic. One captive feminine consumed about 60.5 grams of meals per day, amounting to greater than 10 p.c of her physique mass each day.

Briefly-term care (i.e. as much as 10 days) many grownup birds will be force-fed all through, whereas others, notable nestlings, could also be consuming voluntarily inside 12 hours.

Barn Owl meals chain. Barn Owls are birds of prey or raptors – specialized hunters on the high of the meals chain, which implies that they should eat prey animals to outlive.

Prey animals – primarily small mammals – eat different smaller creatures or crops, seeds, and fruits.

Barn Owls don’t eat cats however a formidable Barn Owl could assault kittens. It’s not attainable for the Barn Owls to assault a grownup cat and raise it up.


Predators of barn owls embody wedge-tailed eagles and automobiles. Nestlings are weak to feral cats and pythons.


30 to 40cm.

Life span

As much as 10 years.

A typical lifespan for a wild grownup Barn Owl is four years though the British longevity document is 15 years. Nevertheless, most Barn Owls die younger.

Owls and different animals in captivity can reside longer than animals within the wild, in the event that they get excellent care and sufficient good meals

barn owl


Barn owls are opportunistic and breed at any time of 12 months when meals are in good provide. They lay as many as three eggs that hatch after 33 days and younger fledge between seven to 9 weeks of age.

Further enjoyable information

Owl’s eyes are so large that there isn’t any room within the cranium for muscle tissue to maneuver them.

They make up for this by having a head that can flip 180 levels. They’ll transfer their head in nearly any course without shifting their physique.

For hundreds of years, owls have been considered symbols of knowledge. Maybe it is due to their behavior of sitting nonetheless, listening to all that is taking place, and swiveling their head to offer their full consideration to all the pieces around them.

Barn Owls Are Secure

Barn owls are totally different than different birds of prey in that they’re small, mild creatures with a predisposition for small rodents.

In different phrases, they’re the last word pest-control ninjas. They’ll preserve your pest state of affairs underneath management whereas overseeing your property (and the property’s subsequent door, killing rodents earlier than they get to your property!) with their smart, all-seeing majesty.

They are not like different birds of prey. There are completely no recorded cases of a barn owl attacking a human anyplace on earth, they usually primarily preserve to themselves.

Owls simply want meals and shelter, and when you present that to them with a nest field, they’re going to stick with you for all times.

When do they arrive out?

How Come an Owl Will Not Eat Throughout the Day? The vast majority of owl species are nocturnal, which means they sleep in the course of the day and are awake and hunt at night time.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t maintain true for all owls, as some do hunt and devour their prey throughout the daytime.

Relying totally on sound to find prey, they fly low (as much as about Three meters) and slowly, backward and forwards throughout the appropriate habitat until they hear a small mammal beneath.

What eats a barn owl?

Buzzards and goshawks have been identified to eat Barn Owls – and a hungry fox will get fortunate now & then. Very younger, sick or injured owls usually tend to get eaten by a predator.

Are barn owls pleasant?

We don’t take into account that Barn Owls make good pets. Feathers will not be designed for stroking – it reduces their pure waterproofing.

Imprinted Barn Owls typically deal with people as potential mates or as rivals. In consequence, they are often very aggressive.

What number of barn owls are left on the earth?

Total there are about 216 species of owls, with around 200 within the typical owl household, and 16 species within the barn owl household.

The chook most usually generally known as the barn owl is Tyto alba, which is what we concern ourselves with right here.

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