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Barn Owl

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  • Hirundo rustica
  • Swallows, Swifts & Larks
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  • Limosa lapponica
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About the Barn Owl

Also known as: Common Barn Owl, White Owl, Silver Owl, Demon Owl, Ghost Owl, Death Owl, Night Owl, Rat Owl, Monkey-faced Owl, Church Owl, Cave Owl or Stone Owl. Golden Owl, Hissing Owl, Screech Owl

The Barn Owl is one of the most widely distributed owl in the world and one of the most widespread of all birds. It can be found in the Americas, from Europe to Asia, almost all of Africa and Australia.

The Barn Owl is a pale, long-winged, long-legged owl with a short tail. It can be found in open country, such as farmland or grassland. It hunts by flying low and slowly over an area of open ground, hovering over spots that concel potential prey.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 31 March 2009
Scientific Name Tyto alba
  • Strigiformes
  • Tytonidae
  • Tyto
  • T. alba
Birdorable Family Owls
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 29 September 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
10 to 17.5 inches
30 to 40 inches
Range West Europe East Europe North Europe South Europe West Asia Central Asia East Asia Southeast Asia South Asia North Africa West Africa Central Africa East Africa South Africa North America Central America Caribbean South America United States (West) United States (East) Australia and New Zealand Oceania

International Names

  • Suindara (Brazilian)
  • 仓鸮 (Chinese)
  • Sova Pálná (Czech)
  • Slørugle (Danish)
  • Kerkuil (Dutch)
  • Tornipöllö (Finnish)
  • Effraie des Clochers (French)
  • Schleiereule (German)
  • Barbagianni Comune (Italian)
  • メンフクロウ (Menfukurou) (Japanese)
  • 가면올빼미 (Korean)
  • Tårnugle (Norwegian)
  • płomykówka (Polish)
  • Сипуха - Амбарная сова (Russian)
  • Lechuza Común (Spanish)
  • Tornuggla (Swedish)

Related articles & downloads

Baby Birdorable: Barn Owl

Baby Birdorable: Barn Owl

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr Creative Commons) of the Barn Owl. Barn Owls ... more
Barn Owl Coloring Page

Barn Owl Coloring Page

The Barn Owl is a pale bird. Its head and upperparts are a mixture of buff (pale yellow-brown) and grey. The heart-shaped face is white but in some subspecies it is browner. ... more
Halloween Barn Owl Mask

Halloween Barn Owl Mask

Cute out this Halloween mask for some fun Birdorable trick-or-treating. Barn Owl vocalizations include blood-curdling screams, so be sure to warm up your vocal cords before donning this mask. Pair the mask ... more
T-Shirt Tuesday: Owl Fan

T-Shirt Tuesday: Owl Fan

This week's featured t-shirt is this new Owl Fan design featuring five of our Birdorable owls: Great Grey Owl, Barn Owl, Barred Owl, Burrowing Owl and Saw-whet Owl. This will make a ... more
Barn Owl Trust

Barn Owl Trust

We are so proud that our cute Birdorable Barn Owl was included in the spring issue of The Flyer, published by the Barn Owl Trust for "junior" friends of the Trust. The ... more