Medium sized owl, with long legs, and heart shaped facial and dark eyes. The upper parts, grey mixed with golden brown spots. Underside pale or white with black spots on female. It is usually a nocturnal hunter. The owl’s plumage has little oil and is easily waterlogged.
Worldwide in temperate or warm climates. Totally absent from cold climates.
Prefers open lowlands, particularly areas including rough grassland, heath and marsh land. In the British Isles usually nest insides of buildings, large tree cavities and rock cavities.
The Short-tailed Vole is the Barn Owl’s commonest prey. Also prey on, Wood Mouse, the Bank Vole and the Common Shrew.
Courtship late February. Between 4-6 eggs are laid in April / May. The eggs hatch after 32-34 days, fledging period of usually 60-86 days.
Wide range of calls, some are non-vocal, such as tongue-clicking. The screech is a penetrating, tremulous hissing scream of two seconds duration.