Barn Owl

Barn Owl





Photo: Erich Neupert

BARN OWL

Barn Owl
Tyto alba

The Barn Owl is a permanent resident of north Texas. It can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Barn owls are considered to have the best hearing of any animal ever tested and are able to hunt in complete darkness. For defense they will “toe dust”, leaning their head down to their toes and swaying it back and forth while hissing.

Species information:

Length:            13 – 15”
Wingspan:       40 -49”
Weight:           1 lb

Plumage:  Mostly white on the chest with some spots. The back is a gold color, mottled with gray and black. The white face is distinctly heart-shaped with black eyes.  It has long legs with white feathers.

Habitat: Found in open areas with woods or buildings nearby for nesting. These owls will use a nest box.

Flight:  Perch and pounce hunters with long, slender wings. From underneath they will look all white.

Vocalization:  Loud hissing scream used in defense.

Food:  Small rodents, mainly voles and mice. They will eat up to 4 a night due to their high metabolism.

Nesting:  Found in cavities of trees. They will use nest boxes 20 ft. up or empty buildings. The nests normally don’t have nesting materials, just whatever is already there. Usually lay 3-11 eggs that are incubated for about 34 days. Young fledge in about 60 days.

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