Barn owls are one of the most widely spread owl species in the world and can be found on every continent, with the exception of Antarctica. These raptors are one of the most unique looking owls and are known for their heart shaped white face. They are a light brown/yellow color with a white face, legs, and belly. These birds are nocturnal, which means they primarily hunt and are active at night. When these owls fly over at night they are easy to see because of the white color underneath and are often mistaken for snowy owls.
Like all owls, barn owls have specially designed feathers for silent flight and have a round facial disk that enables them to pinpoint their prey by sound. There is research showing that barn owls have the best hearing out of any animal on the planet. An experiment was conducted where a barn owl was put in a room that was pitch dark and it was able to capture a mouse by using sound alone. The silent flight of these owls enable them to listen for rodents on the ground while they fly.
These birds of prey have large families, often hatching 6 – 7 babies at one time. They like to nest in abandoned buildings and structures and are known to use people’s attics to nest. These birds make a loud screeching sound and with a nest full of babies it can be a creepy, loud, horrible sound. There have been reports of people thinking their house is haunted and later finding out it is a family of barn owls living in the attic. These owls primarily eat mice, rates, and voles, and are great to have around. If you have barn owls in your area consider yourself lucky to have such a beneficial and amazing predator around you.