Barn Owl

photo by NEBRASKAland Magazine/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Tyto alba
L 16″ (41 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)

Loud rasping hiss. Does not hoot like a typical owl. 

Description: Sexes similar. Females are darker in color than males.  Distinctive white heart-shaped face ringed with tan; dark eyes.  Back is light tan, and underparts vary from white to cinnamon.

Food: Rats are the favorite prey of Barn Owls, but they will also eat many other rodents.

barn owl
Habitat: Found in open to semi-open habitats where small rodents are plentiful.  Hollow trees, old buildings, or caves are necessary to provide roosting and nesting sites.

Where in Nebraska: Uncommon permanent resident and breeder across the state,
but seems to be more common in southern Nebraska.

Fun Facts: Barn Owls are one of the few birds species with females that are more showy than the males. Females have a more reddish and spotted breast.

Barn Owl - NEBRASKAland Magazine/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Barn Owl - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)