barn owl(redirected from Barn owls)
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(Tyto alba), a bird of the order Strigiformes. The barn owl is 33–35 cm long and weighs about 350 g. The body is rusty gray with black and white spots above and whitish or rust-colored below, sometimes with dark flecks. The barn owl is distributed in Western Europe, South Asia, Australia, North and South America, and the western parts of the USSR—from Latvia to Moldavia. A settled bird, it inhabits the garrets of abandoned buildings and, less commonly, tree hollows. A clutch usually contains four to six eggs; occasionally as many as ten or 11 eggs are laid. The eggs are incubated by the female for 32 to 34 days. The barn owl feeds on shrews, rodents, large insects, and—less commonly—birds and bats. It is valuable as a predator of rodents.