Common Name

Scientific Name

View Utah Distribution Map

Photo by Tim Provan
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The barn owl, Tyto alba, occurs throughout most of the Americas, as well as in the Old World. Many barn owls do not migrate, but some individuals may migrate southward to warmer areas for the winter. The species occurs in limited numbers in Utah, preferring open and semi-open habitats, such as grasslands. Individuals are commonly found near human habitation.

The barn owl is a cavity nester that nests in hollow trees, caves, cliff recesses, and human created cavities, such as attics and nest boxes. In Utah, females typically produce a clutch of eggs in the spring; average clutch size is four to six eggs. Some females in warmer areas may produce multiple clutches each year. Eggs hatch after about one month, and the young are tended to by both parents. Barn owls primarily eat small mammals, such as rodents, but occasionally consume birds and other small animals. Barn owls are mainly nocturnal, using their excellent vision and hearing to hunt at night.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.