The common Barn Owl is true to its name-it is common throughout the world, living in all continents except Antarctica and other extremes such as Polynesia.
The common Barn Owl is a large owl, with a heart shaped facial disk and light brown plumage streaked white and blue. They have dark eyes, long unfeathered legs, no ear tufts, and a long hooked beak. A medium sized owl, the common Barn Owl is 14 to 20 inches long and has a wingspan of 43 to 47 inches.
They hunt at night, alone, and fly close to the ground. Their noiseless wings and great hearing aids them in their suprise-style hunting; although their fast flight would allow them to take prey off of the dive. A common Barn Owl can find prey in total darkness with its hearing alone.
They mainly eat small rodents, usually shrews, because they make the most noise as they move. They will also eat birds, insects, amphibians, fish, and other animals.
Barn Owls are mostly monogamous, lasting until one of the pair dies or disappears. They also use the same nest year after year. They hatch 3 or more clutches per year, generally 3-6 white, slightly elliptical (oval shaped) eggs per clutch (18 young in one clutch has been reported). Eggs are laid in intervals of 2-3 days. Young are blind, and have nearly no feathers or fluff. In 1 week, their eyes will open. In 3 weeks, they will be able to eat the food brought by their parents without assistance. Notes- Breeding Groups
Life span in the wild is generally less than 3 years, but in captivity they will live much longer, sometimes over 10 years.
7 midwestern states in the U.S. list the common Barn Owl as "endangered". South Dakota and Nebraska list it as a "special concern".