What is the Scientific Name of the Barn Owl?

Discover the scientific name of the barn owl, Tyto alba, and learn about its physical characteristics, behavior, and conservation status.


The barn owl, also known as Tyto alba, is a fascinating bird known for its unique appearance and behavior.

Scientific Name

The scientific name of the barn owl is Tyto alba. The genus name Tyto comes from the Greek word for owl, while the species name alba means white, referring to the bird’s pale plumage.

Physical Characteristics

  • The barn owl has a heart-shaped facial disk that helps it funnel sound to its ears, allowing it to locate prey in the dark.
  • It has a distinctive white, heart-shaped face with a golden-brown back and wings.

Behavior and Habitat

Barn owls are nocturnal hunters that feed primarily on small rodents like mice and voles. They are found in a variety of habitats, including farmland, grasslands, and marshes.

Case Study: Barn Owls and Pest Control

In vineyards in California, barn owls have been used to control rodent populations, reducing the need for chemical pesticides. This natural form of pest control has been shown to be effective and environmentally friendly.

Conservation Status

Despite being widespread, barn owls face threats from habitat loss, pesticides, and collisions with vehicles. Efforts are underway to protect and conserve these majestic birds through habitat restoration and education programs.

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