Barn Owl – Tyto alba
Barn owls can be found in most of the lower 48 states, parts of southern Canada, and around the globe. These owls are non-migratory and reside near grasslands, marshes, deserts, forests, the open plains, and even in busy cities. They nest in tree cavities, caves, buildings, and of course barns! Barn owls make their nests in pre-existing holes in trees, along cliff edges, barn lofts, nest boxes, or even houses.  

Mostly active at night, barn owls use their precise hearing and night vision to spot their next meal, even in total darkness, making them excellent hunters. They typically swallow their prey whole, coughing up the undigested pieces letter in the form of a pellet. Unlike other owls, Barn owls do not hoot, instead they produce harsh screeches in the night.  

Ecosystems and humans need barn owls to maintain balance. Mainly feeding on small mammals such as mice, rats, bats, voles, rabbits, and other small prey, barn owls keep the rodent populations low. Barn owls eat an estimated 4,000 rodents a year for each pair of barn owls and their offspring. Vineyards and orchards even control rodent infestations with barn owls. People encourage barn owls to nest and feed near their farms and land by adding a human-made nest box. If you have enough space and the right habitat, you can add a barn owl box to your land and encourage natural rodent control! 

Learn more about:
Owl Boxes
Barn Owls