Common Barn Owl
Tyto alba

CLASS: Aves
ORDER: Strigiformes
FAMILY: Strigidae

SIZE:
17 to 18 inches in length and weighing 1 lb.; wingspan if up to 43 inches

RANGE:
From southern Canada to southern Chile and from the east to west coast in the Western Hemisphere.

HABITAT:
Trees, abandoned burrows and buidings, old abandoned farm machinery in temperate forests and grasslands.

DIET:
Wild - Carnivorous, preferring small rodents; other small mammals
Zoo - Bird of prey diet

DESCRIPTION:
Red brown speckled wings with white body, distinctive heart shaped face; sharp talons and hooked beak. Camouflage helps owl hide during the day.

ADAPTATIONS:

  • Nocturnal and arboreal
  • Will hunt during the day when feeding young
  • Sharp talons for seizing and holding prey
  • Hooked beak for tearing meat
  • Eyes in front allow depth perception and aids in hunting and avoiding obstacles; neck can turn up to 270 degrees.

ENEMIES:
Great Horned Owl

YOUNG:

  • Two broods each year, in early spring and late summer; 4 - 7 eggs hatch after several weeks
  • Both parents brood and feed the altricial young; male bringing food to female
  • Young mature in 10 - 12 weeks

STATUS:
CITES App. II; Protected in the U.S.; suffers from loss of habitat

REFERENCE:
Lincoln Park Zoo Web Site, animal fact sheet -- http://www.lpzoo.com