Barn Owl - (Tyto alba)

Barn Owl - (Tyto alba): Keep a keen eye for this frequent night flier
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• Barn owls, which are generally spotted at night and recognized for their loud, eerie screeches, have a vast population in most of North America and are found throughout WNC. 

• Unlike their piercing screams, their downy feathers provide silent stealth for hunting prey.

• The barn owl has a golden-brown appearance and can have a wingspread of up to 49 inches. Their average lifespan is approximately four years. 

• The white, heart-shaped face is a distinguishing feature of this nocturnal species; it gathers sound as human ears do—but with up to 10 times more sensitivity. 

• Report your sighting: NC Wildlife Resource Commission biologists need your assistance in spotting barn owls for observation of habitat progress, and they’re also offering to place nest boxes on properties with this subspecies. Share info on your sightings or request a box by writing allison.medford@ncwildlife.org.