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Barn Owl Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    These medium-sized owls have long, rounded wings and short tails, which combine with a buoyant, loping flight to give them a distinctive flight style. The legs are long and the head is smoothly rounded, without ear tufts.

    Relative Size

    Larger than a screech-owl, but smaller than a Great Horned Owl.

    Relative Sizecrow sizedcrow-sized

    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 12.6-15.8 in (32-40 cm)
      • Weight: 14.1-24.7 oz (400-700 g)
      • Wingspan: 39.4-49.2 in (100-125 cm)

Regional Differences

Barn Owls have a worldwide distribution with substantial variation in size and in the patterns of buff and white in the plumage. However, the subspecies found in the United States and Canada does not show substantial geographic variation.