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Common Barn-owl

Common Barn-owl

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Scientific Name:

Tyto alba


Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australasia


Carnivore. Small rodents, especially voles and mice, but also young rabbits, bats, frogs, lizards, birds and insects


Habitat:  Great variety of habitats according to availability of prey. Prefers open lowlands with some trees, suburbs, farmlands where they nest in ruined buildings or barns.

Social structure: Solitary or in pairs

Weight: 187-700 kg

Dimensions:  29-44cm, wingspan: 107-110cm

Lifespan: 1-2 years, rarely up to 21 years

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Estimated population in the wild: 4.000.000-10.000.000 mature individuals

Threats: Loss and fragmentation of their habitat, intensification of agricultural practices, urbanization, road kills due to road development, reduction of available nest sites such as stackyards and stables due to increased mechanization of farms.

Did you know that:

  1. They are a natural pest control for farmers, as one single bird can consume 2.000-6.000 rodents annually.
  2. It is one of the most wide-ranging birds in the world, and the most  widely distributed species of owl.
  3. There are approximately 28 subspecies of barn owl. The European is one of the smaller subspecies.
  4. They have the most acute hearing of any animal tested.
  5. Their ghostly pale heart-shaped face gives them a distinctive appearance.
  6. They are usually monogamous, sticking to one partner for life unless one of the pair dies

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