Barn Owl Tyto alba   [Scopoli, 1769]

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Order: Strigiformes Family: Tytonidae
BTO Codes: BO, BAROW EURING No: 7350
Number in Britain: 4000 Pairs (Summer)
Conservation Status:
UK: AMBER
European: 3 Concern, most not in Europe; Declining
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Resident Breeder
Subspecies: alba (R), guttata (V) recorded in Britain (of 32 subsp. in the world)
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Length: 34 cm Wingspan: 89 cm Weight: M/F: 300 g    
Scientific name from: Gr.: tuto=an owl and L.: albus=white
World Distribution: Europe, s Asia, Africa, Australasia, North & South America
Habitat: Open country, savanna, farmland
Diet: Small mammals (mice small voles, shrews), some small birds, will hunt before sunset
TitBit: The unearthly shrieks, cries and hisses of the Barn Owl (and its association with churches) may have given rise to a widespread association of owls with all things evil - an owls' wing was a key ingredient in the witches brew that troubled Macbeth.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Summer: 4000 Pairs in
    First Record: Recorded in Medieval times [Fossil evidence from Devensian (last) glaciation, 10-120,000 yr ago]
    Latest Survey: Toms, M. et al. (2001) Bird Study 48:23-37
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Species of European Concern,
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 AMBER     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern: alba AMBER (European Concern)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
European Population Size:
    Summer: 110 to 220 thousand pairs
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(I,III,IX), Bern(III), CITES(I)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack
Results from Barn Owl Monitoring Programme

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 39 x 32 mm Egg Weight: 21.2 g (of which . % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 422
Clutch Size: 4 - 6 eggs 4.85 ± 1.48 (2 - 12) N = 463
Incubation: 32 days 32.00 ± 1.28 (30 - 34) N = 463   by the: Female
Fledging: 53 - 61days 56.24 ± 4.21 (49 - 62.5) N = 1861 as: Altricial, downy
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Nest Record Scheme data
First Clutches Laid: 6 May (30 Mar - 4 Jul)
Number of Broods: 2
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.720 ± 0.044       
Juvenile Survival: 0.370 (in First-Year)  
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 4 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 15 years 0 months 26 days (set in 2011)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries

Biometrics

Ring Size: G or F
Wing Length Adult: 292.2 ± 7.6 Range 280 - 304 mm, N =536
Juvenile: 289.0 ± 13.2 262 - 305 mm, N =78
Male: 292.3 ± 7.5 280 - 304 mm, N =195
Female: 292.2 ± 7.7 280 - 304 mm, N =323
Weight Adult: 337.3 ± 43.62 Range 280.0 - 420.0 g , N =522
Juvenile: 313.3 ± 37.41 263.0 - 382.5 g , N =60
Male: 311.5 ± 27.28 270.0 - 360.0 g , N =195
Female: 354.3 ± 43.90 295.0 - 435.0 g , N =311
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

 
Gaelic: Comhachag-bhàn Welsh: Tylluan Wen
Danish: Slørugle Dutch: Kerkuil
Finnish: Tornipöllö French: Effraie des clochers
German: Schleiereule Hungarian: Gyöngybagoly
Icelandic: Turnugla Irish: Scréachóg Reilige
Italian: Barbagianni Norwegian: Tårnugle
Polish: Plomykówka zwyczajna Portuguese: Coruja-das-torres
Spanish: Lechuza Swedish: Tornuggla
Local Names: Yellow/White/Screech Owl, Billy Wix, Ginny Ollit

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Roulin, A. 2002 BWP Update 4:115-138
   Bunn, D.S., Warburton, R.S. & Wilson, R.D.S. 1982 The barn owl Poyser, Calton [598.711 BUN]
   Chandler, D. 2011 Barn Owl New Holland, London
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides
All About Birds (from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology)