Glossary Species Home
Barn Owl Tyto alba
Flight call description A loud, harsh, hissing screech, typically on one pitch. Also gives a rapid, metallic, tinkling series of notes in flight around the nest.
Fig.1. Texas April (WRE).
Presumed Barn Owl nocturnal flight call.
Similar species Usually distinctive. The variable begging call of juvenile Great Horned Owl can be similar but is usually more upward-arched or wavering, giving it a less monotone sound. The begging call of juvenile Barred Owl is also similar but is typically softer, longer, and higher than Barn Owl's flight call. The begging calls of both Barred and Great Horned Owls are delivered in slow, evenly-spaced repetition from a perch or rarely in short flights from one perch to another but are not given in long flights.
Great Horned Owl juvenile calling sequences:
Oklahoma October 13, 1989 (WRE). Perched bird.
New York August 18, 1989 (WRE). Perched bird.
Florida March 22, 1989 (Lang Elliott). Perched bird.
New York September 19, 1992 (WRE). With radio frequency interference.
Barred Owl juvenile calling sequences:
New York August 14, 1991 (Lang Elliott). Perched birds.
Virginia July 19, 1995 (MO). Perched bird.
Behavior Nocturnal migrant. Unlike other owls, this species commonly gives a flight call.