World of OWLS (Barn Owls)

Types of Owls
It has been widely accepted that 216 species of owls exist today, and of these 216 species, 18 belong to the Barn Owl family (Tytonidae) and 198 belong to the typical owl family (Strigidae).

BARN OWLS

The Barn owl (Tyto alba) is a medium-sized owl and is of 4 species with dark eyes. This owl has light gray on its upper body with reddish brown and puffs of white feathers. It has gray spotting on its wings and head. The underside is very white.  It has a very distinctly heart-shaped facial disc that is sharply outlined with reddish brown. Its beak is off-white and the feet are yellowish white with brown. Females often have more spots than males.

This owl is nocturnal and preys upon small mammals like voles, gophers, shrews, mice and rats and also bats, frogs and insects. They use a combination of sight and hearing to detect their prey. Their hearing is better than their sight, and have the sharpest hearing out of any animal tested. They have asymmetrical (not evenly placed) ear openings, the left one being higher than the right one. This allows their ears to be more sensitive to sounds from different directions. They often hunt in open grasslands. The Barn owl is found on all continents besides Antarctica, including the entirety of Australia. It resides in areas of open woodland, heaths and moors. They are also found in open farmland.

These owls participate in a rising and falling courtship flight that is performed by the male. The male will hover in front of the female and show her potential nesting sites and offering her food. They nest in scattered buildings, caves and tree hollows, where the females will lay 3-6 eggs. The majority of individuals of this species of owl only live between 1-2 years of age.