Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Tyto alba

Eats

Carnivorous, most of the time eat small mammals and rarely birds. They can eat as many as 1,460 small mammals a year, so they are good at keeping the rodent population in check.

Lives

Found worldwide over 7 continents. Nest and roost in cavities, abandoned barns, buildings, and dense trees. Habitats often include marshes, deserts, grasslands, or agricultural fields.

Behavior

They are monogamous, meaning that they have a single life partner. They are usually quiet, but have loud scary vocalizations, shrieks, and screeches. They have adapted to achieve silent flight, their feathers on their wings are shaped like a comb and trailing edge with fringe, these funnel air smoothly over the wing and dampen the sound.

Description

Barn owls typically have a heart-shaped facial disk that is usually white or light tan in color. Their plumage is generally a mixture of pale, tawny, and dark brown feathers, providing excellent camouflage in their natural habitats. They often have spots and speckles on their wings and back, contributing to their mottled appearance. Ears are asymmetrical, which helps them pinpoint exactly where a noise comes from.  They're hearing is so precise they can effectively hunt in total darkness.

Did you Know?

Mill Mountain Zoo is home to many animals who wouldn't survive being released into the wild or are at risk of extinction.

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Least Concern
Least Concern
Near Threatened
Near Threatened
Vulnerable
Vulnerable
Endangered
Endangered
Critically Endangered
Critically Endangered
Extinct in the Wild
Extinct in the Wild
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