BIRDS of THE WORLD - An Online Bird Book


Order Strigiformes  Family Tytonidae

Owls are found on all continents except Antarctica. Owls are divided into two families: the typical owls, Strigidae; and the barn-owls, Tytonidae. They range in size from 13-70 cm. Owls do not construct nests, but rather look for a sheltered nesting site or an abandoned nest in trees, underground burrows, or in buildings, barns and caves.

Owls are solitary and nocturnal. They hunt mostly small mammals, insects, and other birds though a few species specialize in hunting fish. Most hunt for prey only in the darkness. Much of the owls' hunting strategy depends on stealth and surprise. They are very quiet in flight plus they have dull colors. Owls have large forward-facing eyes and ear-holes, a hawk-like beak, a flat face, and usually a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye. The facial disc helps to funnel the sound of prey to their ears. Although owls have binocular vision, their large eyes are fixed in their sockets, as with other birds, and they must turn their entire head to change views. Owls can rotate their heads and necks as much as 270 degrees in either direction. The female is usually larger than the male.

Owl species can be found on these web pages:
New World Owls, Old World Owls, Barn Owls, Eagle-Owls, Pygmy-Owls, Scops-Owls

Barn-owls are medium to large sized owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long, strong legs with powerful talons. They also differ from Strigidae owls in structural details relating in particular to the sternum and feet.

Genus Phodilus
Bay-Owls resemble Barn Owls but have a U-shaped facial disk and small ear tufts.

Owl,_Congo_Bay-  Phodilus prigoginei  also Tyto prigoginei Found: DR Congo, Tanzania
The Congo Bay-Owl has chestnut brown upperparts; many black and white spots on crown; reddish-cream underparts.
Image by: 1) nolafryar

Owl,_Oriental Bay-  Phodilus badius  Found: southeast Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines
The Oriental Bay-Owl has rufous upperparts; pinkish-white underparts with isolated dark spots; U-shaped face with broad forehead; small ear tufts.
Image by:  1) Tim_Ellis  2) LonelyShrimp - Thailand  3) S. Shankar - Kuala Lumpur Bird Park  4) Dave_Irving 

Owl,_Sri_Lanka_Bay-  Phodilus assimilis  Found: south western India, Sri Lanka
The Sri Lanka Bay-Owl is sometimes considered a subspecies of the Oriental Bay-Owl.
Image by: 1, 2) Dr.abhilash.ak

Genus Tyto
The Barn Owls have a heart-shaped face and have no ear tufts.

Owl,_African_Grass-  Tyto capensis  Found: Congo, Ethiopia and points south.
The African Grass-Owl has blackish-brown upperparts, crown; whitish-cream facial disk; whitish to buff underparts with dark spots.
Image by: 1) Hayleyk

Owl,_Andaman_Masked-  Tyto deroepstorffi  Found: Andaman Islands (west of Myanmar)
Image by: 1) Albinjacob    2) Savithri_Singh

Owl,_Ashy-faced  Tyto glaucops  Dominican Republic, Haiti
The Ash-faced owl has gray facial disk; yellowish-brown upperparts, head; ; pale underparts.
Similar to
: Barn Owl. Ashy-faced Owl has darker face than Barn Owl.
Image by: 1) Mario Davalos  2) John Greenaway

Owl,_Australian Masked-  Tyto novaehollandiae  Found: Australia, southern New Guinea
The Australian Masked-Owl has 3 morphs. Light has white facial disk; pale grap upperparts; whitish underparts. Intermediate has whitish facial disk; brown upperparts; white underparts with gray spots.  Dark has chestnut facial disk; blackish-brown upperparts; lighter underparts.
Similar to: Barn Owl. Australian Masked-Owl has dark in front of the eyes leading to a tear-drop shape; Barn Owl has round eyes.
Image by: 1) Ian_Banner  2, 3) Benjamint444  4) Charlie Westerinen - Featherdale

Owl,_Barn  Tyto alba  Found: The Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia
The Barn Owl has light brown or gray upperparts with black and white speckles; white or light brown heart-shaped face; white or reddish-buff underparts; black eyes.
Similar to: Australian Masked-Owl. Australian Masked-Owl has dark in front of the eyes leading to a tear-drop shape; Barn Owl has round eyes.
Similar to: Ashy-faced Owl. Ashy-faced Owl has darker face than Barn Owl.
Similar to: Eastern Grass-Owl. Eastern Grass-Owl is darker than Barn Owl.
Similar to: Short-eared Owl. Barn Owl has dark eyes; Short-eared Owl has yellow eyes.
Image by: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7) Dick Daniels - Carolina Raptor Center   5) Dick - Center for Birds of Prey     6, 8) Dick - Radical Raptors, South Africa

Owl,_Eastern Grass-  also  Australasian Grass-Owl  Tyto longimembris   Found: Australia , Asia
The Eastern Grass-Owl has dark brown upperparts with white speckles; white underparts with dark speckles.
Similar to: Barn Owl. Eastern Grass-Owl is darker than Barn Owl.
Image by: 1) Hyashi Haka   2, 3) Geoff_Whalan

Owl,_Golden_Masked-  Tyto aurantia  Found: near New Guinea
Image by: 1) Katerina_Tvardikova 2, 3) Nik_Borrow

Owl,_Lesser_Masked- also Moluccan Masked-Owl  Tyto sororcula  Found: south Moluccas of Indonesia
Image by: 1, 2) James_Eaton - Tanimbar Islands, Maluku, Indonesia

Owl,_Madagascar Red  also  Red Owl  Tyto soumagnei  Found: Madagascar
The Madagascar Red Owl has brownish-orange plumage with small black spots.
Image by: 1) Ian_Banner  2) nolafryar  3) Pinned

Owl,_Manus_Masked-  Tyto manusi  Found: south Moluccas of Indonesia (near New Guinea)
Image by: 1) Katerina_Tvardikova 2) planetofbirds

Owl,_Minahassa_Masked-  Tyto inexspectata  Found: Sulawesi, Indonesia
Image by: 1) jan_veenstra

Owl,_Seram_Masked-  Tyto almae  Found: Seram Island in Indonesia
Image by: 1) Knud Andreas Jønsson

Owl,_Sooty  Tyto tenebricosa  Found: Australia, New Guinea
The Sooty Owl is sometimes divided into two species: Greater Sooty Owl and substantially smaller and paler Lesser Sooty Owl. The Sooty Owl has dark gray to black upperparts; lighter underparts; light to dark gray (varying with age) facial disk with heavy black edge; fine white spots mainly on head and wings.
Image by: 1) Katerina_Tvardikova  2) Richard Fisher - Queensland, AU  3) Quolism  4) Elsafreestyle - Victoria, AU  5) Aviceda - Queensland

Owl,_Sulawesi Masked-  Tyto rosenbergii  Found: Indonesia
Image by: 1) Francesco Veronesi - Sulawesi  2, 3) Lip Kee - Sulawesi

Owl,_Taliabu_Masked-  Tyto nigrobrunnea  Found: Sula Islands, Maluku, Indonesia
Image by: 1) Frank E Rheindt  2) Pinned

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