Belongs to: owls

Barn owl Tyto alba

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Distinctive pale buff and white owl, seen quartering fields at dusk

Habitat: woods, fields, hedges and heaths

Once common resident, declining rapidly in recent decades


White underparts, buffy orange upperparts; pale face with dark eyes; 34 cm

Flies mainly at dusk, quartering field margins and marshes; sometimes hunts along roadside verges

Eats mainly small mammals, especially field voles, sometimes small birds; regurgitates pellets of indigestible remains


Nest is a hole in an old hollow tree or a building; no nest material – usually lays on pellets

Usually one brood April to early May; 4-7 white eggs

© David Harrison

© Gerald Downey