Barn owl

The most cosmopolitan of owls with home ranges extending across the globe

These magnificent birds of prey have indeed carved out a niche for themselves alongside human settlements, providing invaluable rodent control services while simultaneously benefiting from the abundance of prey that human habitation offers.

One of the most striking features of the barn owl is its silent flight, facilitated by its light and velvety feathers. These specialized feathers allow the owl to glide through the air with minimal noise, making it a formidable and stealthy hunter. Coupled with their exceptional vision, barn owls possess the remarkable ability to detect even the slightest movement on the ground during nocturnal hunts.

The iconic heart-shaped facial disc of the barn owl serves a crucial purpose in its hunting strategy. This facial disc acts as a highly effective sound-collecting device, amplifying and directing sound waves toward the owl’s ears. With this extraordinary auditory system, barn owls can pinpoint the precise location of prey in complete darkness, relying solely on their acute hearing to hunt with deadly accuracy.

Contrary to popular belief, barn owls do not hoot like their distant relatives. Instead, they emit eerie hisses and piercing screams, adding to their mystique and allure. Unfortunately, these distinctive vocalizations have contributed to the owl’s unjust reputation as a harbinger of doom and misfortune among the superstitious.

Despite these misconceptions, barn owls play a vital role in maintaining ecological balance by controlling rodent populations, making them invaluable allies to farmers and homeowners alike. By preying on rodents that can cause damage to crops and structures, barn owls provide a natural and environmentally friendly form of pest control, reducing the need for harmful pesticides.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Albania
2016
Breeding
Algeria
2016
American Samoa
2016
Breeding
Andorra
2016
Angola
2016
Antigua & Barbuda
2016
Argentina
2016
Australia
2016
Breeding
Austria
2016
Bahamas
2016
Bahrain
2016
Bangladesh
2016
Breeding
Barbados
2016
Belarus
2016
Belgium
2016
Belize
2016
Benin
2016
Bermuda
2016
Breeding
Bolivia
2016
Bosnia and Herzegovina
2016
Breeding
Botswana
2016
Brazil
2016
Bulgaria
2016
Burkina Faso
2016
Burundi
2016
Cambodia
2016
Breeding
Cameroon
2016
Canada
2016
Cape Verde
2016
Cayman Islands
2016
Central African Republic
2016
Chad
2016
Chile
2016
China
2016
Breeding
Colombia
2016
Comoros
2016
Congo-Brazzaville
2016
Costa Rica
2016
Croatia
2016
Cuba
2016
Curaçao
2016
Cyprus
2016
Czechia
2016
Côte D’ivoire
2016
DR Congo (Kinshasa)
2016
Denmark
2016
Dominican Republic
2016
East Timor
2016
Ecuador
2016
Egypt
2016
El Salvador
2016
Equatorial Guinea
2016
Eritrea
2016
Estonia
2016
Non-Breeding
Eswatini
2016
Ethiopia
2016
Falkland Islands
2016
Malvinas
Fiji
2016
Finland
2016
Non-Breeding
France
2016
French Guiana
2016
Gabon
2016
Gambia
2016
Georgia
2016
Breeding
Germany
2016
Ghana
2016
Gibraltar
2016
Greece
2016
Guadeloupe
2016
Guatemala
2016
Guinea-Bissau
2016
Guinea
2016
Guyana
2016
Honduras
2016
Hungary
2016
India
2016
Breeding
Indonesia
2016
Breeding
Iran
2016
Iraq
2016
Ireland
2016
Israel
2016
Breeding
Italy
2016
Jamaica
2016
Breeding
Jordan
2016
Kenya
2016
Kuwait
2016
Laos
2016
Breeding
Latvia
2016
Lebanon
2016
Lesotho
2016
Liberia
2016
Libya
2016
Liechtenstein
2016
Lithuania
2016
Luxembourg
2016
Madagascar
2016
Malawi
2016
Malaysia
2016
Breeding
Mali
2016
Malta
2016
Breeding
Martinique
2016
Mauritania
2016
Mayotte
2016
Mexico
2016
Moldova
2016
Monaco
2016
Breeding
Montenegro
2016
Breeding
Montserrat
2016
Morocco
2016
Mozambique
2016
Myanmar
2016
Breeding
Namibia
2016
Nepal
2016
Breeding
Netherlands
2016
New Zealand
2016
Non-Breeding
Nicaragua
2016
Niger
2016
Nigeria
2016
Niue
2016
Breeding
North Macedonia
2016
Norway
2016
Non-Breeding
Oman
2016
Pakistan
2016
Breeding
Panama
2016
Papua New Guinea
2016
Breeding
Paraguay
2016
Peru
2016
Poland
2016
Breeding
Portugal
2016
Puerto Rico
2016
Qatar
2016
Romania
2016
Russia
2016
Breeding: European Russia
Rwanda
2016
Saint Lucia
2016
Saint Vincent
2016
Samoa
2016
Breeding
San Marino
2016
Breeding
Saudi Arabia
2016
Senegal
2016
Serbia
2016
Breeding
Seychelles
2016
Breeding
Sierra Leone
2016
Singapore
2016
Breeding
Slovakia
2016
Slovenia
2016
Solomon Islands
2016
Breeding
Somalia
2016
South Africa
2016
South Sudan
2016
Spain
2016
Sri Lanka
2016
Breeding
St. Kitts & Nevis
2016
Sudan
2016
Suriname
2016
Svalbard
2016
Non-Breeding
Sweden
2016
Breeding
Switzerland
2016
Syria
2016
São Tomé & Príncipe
2016
Breeding
Tanzania
2016
Thailand
2016
Breeding
Togo
2016
Tonga
2016
Breeding
Trinidad & Tobago
2016
Tunisia
2016
Turkey
2016
Turks & Caicos
2016
UAE
2016
US Minor Is.
2016
Seasonality Uncertain
Uganda
2016
Ukraine
2016
United Kingdom
2016
United States
2016
Breeding
Uruguay
2016
Breeding
Vanuatu
2016
Breeding
Venezuela
2016
Vietnam
2016
Breeding
Wallis & Futuna
2016
Breeding
Yemen
2016
Zambia
2016
Zimbabwe
2016

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No