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Eastern Barn Owl

(Tyto delicatula)
Alternate name(s): "Barn Owl", "Delicate Barn Owl", "Screeching Owl", "Lesser Masked Owl", "White Owl", "Australian Barn Owl"
Aboriginal name(s): "yondja", "minar" (WA)

Size: 30-40 cm; wing span 70-90 cm (female larger than male)
Weight: 250-420 g (male), 260-470 g (female)

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Eastern Barn Owl at Wikipedia .

Click here for classification information

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information




Frontal view of a female Eastern Barn Owl - note the rufous-grey back (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Gilgandra, NSW, July 2011]

Near-frontal view of a female Eastern Barn Owl (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Gilgandra, NSW, March 2012]

Near-dorsal view of a female Eastern Barn Owl looking at the photographer (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Gilgandra, NSW, September 2017]

Frontal view of two Eastern Barn Owls; it is unknown to us whether this is a pair or an adult with a dependent juvenile; although the bird on the right appears to be taller than the one on the left, the one on the left may be hunched - in a pair the more heavily speckled bird would be the female, which is normally also larger
[Near Gurley, NSW, December 2013]

Frontal view of two Eastern Barn Owls
[Near Gurley, NSW, December 2013]

Frontal view of two Eastern Barn Owls
[Near Gurley, NSW, December 2013]

Frontal view of a (female?) Eastern Barn Owl
[Near Gurley, NSW, December 2013]


Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Dispersive Elementary unit: Solitary/pair

Food, Diet

Like other owls, Eastern Barn Owls are carnivores. They prey mostly on small mammals, in particular mice.


For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

As members of the "Tyto" family, Eastern Barn Owls are "screeching owls". The calls below demonstrate how appropriate this classification is. The 3 calls recorded on 5 March 2014 have slightly different pitches.

barnowl_20140305_3.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact call © MD
barnowl_20140305_1.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact call © MD
barnowl_20140305_2.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact call © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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