Alice Springs Desert Park

ASDP Birds > Birds Index

The Barn Owl (Tyto alba) is one of the most widely distributed species of owls in the world. These are mainly nocturnal birds, whose acute hearing aids it when hunting for its ground prey. In fact their hearing is so acute they can capture a small mammal prey such as a mouse in total darkness.

Referred to as barn owls, they are also known as the common barn owl. The similarity of many of the owls species and sub-species, often causes confusion with Tyto alba often considered a sub-species group. Tyto alba naming sometimes used to refer to Tyto javanica (Eastern Barn Owl) and Tyto delicatula (Western Barn Owl).

They are a striking looking bird with large eyes and a heart-shaped face. Their light white colouration, is referenced in the Latin word alba meaning ‘white’ — ‘white owl’.

Images © Ausemade PL

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Informal: Gnathostomata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Strigiformes
  • Family: Tytonidae
  • Genus: Tyto
  • Species: Tyto alba
  • Subspecies: Tyto delicatula

Footnote & References

  1. Eastern barn owl, (last visited Apr. 1, 2021).
  2. Western barn owl, (last visited Apr. 1, 2021).
  3. Barn owl, (last visited Apr. 1, 2021).
  4. Eastern Barn Owl, Sounds & Calls, Wild Ambience,
  5. Eastern Barn Owl, Australian Museum,

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