Tyto alba


Barn Owls are excellent hunters of small ground mammals, and the vast majority of their food consists of small rodents. The Barn Owl is unique among the other North American owls and is in its own family (Tytonidae). The Barn Owl has smaller eyes than other owls, but has very sensitive and directional hearing, which allows it to locate prey in total darkness. Except for at the highest latitudes, the Barn Owl can be found world wide.


Tawny, buff, and gray upperparts marked with small black and white spots. White underparts with scattered dark spots. Large, round head with pale facial disks surrounded by buffy-tan feathers that appear to make a heart shape around the face. No ear tufts. Long, feathered legs. Sexes similar. 18 inches in length.


Open country, farms, towns, deserts, forest edges and clearings.


5-7 white eggs. The eggs have a 32-34 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in 56-70 days. The nest is poorly constructed, unlined, and built almost anywhere, including old buildings, tree hollows, and on the ground. The young "owlets" aquire adult plumage in about 7.5 weeks. Until then, they are covered with a thick white or buff down.

Observed Locations:

  • Lake Murray, La Mesa
  • Lindo Lake, Lakeside

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         Song #1 | Song #2

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Shhh! Sleeping!

Shhh! Sleeping!




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Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.