Barn Owl (Tyto alba)
Barn Owls are the most widely distributed of all owl species. They hunt small rodents, and never take anything as large as a house cat or dog. Barn Owls range from 10″ to 18″ in height. They can live for 25 years, but because of human impacts and natural predators, they rarely live more than two. If you have a Barn Owl living nearby, you have probably heard its “shreee” sound that’s nothing like the hoots of the Great Horned Owls or the toots of the Northern Pygmy Owls that we often hear in Dewey-Humboldt.
Nest: Large tree cavity, barn loft, or house attic. Farmers often place nest boxes around their fields.
Conservation: Cats and other owls prey upon barn Owls, and pesticides in the tissues of their prey poison them. Some farmers have stopped using pesticides, but most haven’t. The owls are endangered in seven stats, but not yet in Arizona. (Birds of Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona. GarryRogers.com. Photo: Female by Tony Hisgett).