Tyto Alba – Barn Owl

Tyto Alba - Barn Owl in the US

Barn owls or known in Latin as Tyto Alba hunt on the ground and eat mostly small creatures, which they detect by sound. Unless one of the couple is murdered, a new pair bond may develop. Most of its distribution is nocturnal, although it hunts by day in Britain and certain Pacific islands. Breeding occurs at various periods of the year, with a clutch of four eggs deposited in a hollow tree, ancient structure, or rock fissure. The female conducts all the incubation and feeds the newborn chicks. Barn owl populations may grow fast when tiny food is abundantly available, and the species is rated least endangered globally.

It is also known as the common barn owl to distinguish it from other species in its family, Tytonidae, one of the two major extant owl lineages Strigidae.

Quick Overview: Tyto Alba – Barn Owl
Body size: Around 14-20 in (36-51 cm) and a weight of 510 g (18 oz)
Main colors: Brown, Black, White, Gray
Range: Throughout the United States
Migratory Bird: No
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: All Year (January – December)
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Barn Owl Description

Barn owls are medium-sized owls with lengthy legs and grey toes. a big, spherical, earless head. Barn owls have rounded wings and a short, downy tail. The bird’s back and head are light browns with black and white markings, and its underbelly is grayish-white. Barn owls are strikingly beautiful.

Tyto Alba - Barn Owl in the US
Tyto Alba – Barn Owl. Photo by: Portable Portraits


These birds have a length of 14-20 in (36-51 cm) and a weight of 510 g (18 oz). Their wings could range from 42-44 in (107-112 cm).


Pigeons, hares, muskrats, shrews, and mice are preferred prey for barn owls. They may eat tiny birds. Barn owls hunt alone after dusk. They have evolved very sensitive low-light eyesight to detect movement in grassland. In the dark, the owl’s keen hearing helps it catch prey.


Barn owls live in rural, suburban, and urban areas. They like open environments such as grasslands, deserts, marshes, and agricultural fields. They need hollow trees, cliffs and riverbanks, nest boxes, caverns, church steeples, barn lofts, and haystacks to nest. The availability of adequate nesting cavities frequently restricts foraging habitat usage.


Barn owls live alone or in couples. Most of their nesting sites are man-made structures like barns, nest boxes, and church steeples. Barn owls are skilled hunters. They are suspected of lounging a lot. Most barn owls are stationary, although some northern ones migrate.

Tyto alba Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Strigiformes
  • Family: Tytonidae
  • Genus: Tyto
  • Species: Tyto alba

Best time of the year to see

In the United States, the best time of year to see these birds is all year round, regardless of the season. This refers to any month of the year between January and December.

Distribution of the Barn owl in the USA

The most widespread owl species, save for Antarctica, is the barn owl. Barn owls may be found in adequate habitat across South and Central America, as well as northern North America and southern British Columbia. Barn owls inhabit southern Spain, southern Sweden, and eastern Russia. They are found throughout Africa, Central and Southern Asia, and Australia. Some maritime islands have barn owls to combat rodents.

The Barn owl can be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Tyto Alba – Barn Owl

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