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Species Guide
A photo of a Eastern Barn Owl (Tyto javanica)
Eastern Barn Owl

Eastern Barn Owl

Tyto javanica

The Eastern Barn Owl (Tyto javanica), a creature of the night and sometimes day, is a captivating bird of prey native to Southeast Asia and Australasia. With a heart-shaped face and an ethereal presence, it is a subspecies group within the larger barn owl family, Tytonidae.

Identification Tips

This owl can be identified by its pale, golden-brown plumage, speckled with darker spots. It has a distinctive heart-shaped facial disc, long legs, and powerful talons. The Eastern Barn Owl's underparts are typically lighter, providing excellent camouflage against the night sky during flight.


The Eastern Barn Owl thrives in open landscapes such as farmland, grassland, and interspersed woodland, usually below 2,000 meters but occasionally found up to 3,000 meters in tropical regions.


This owl is found across the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Australia, and many Pacific Islands. It is generally sedentary, but some populations exhibit migratory or nomadic behavior in response to environmental conditions.


Nocturnal by nature, the Eastern Barn Owl is an expert hunter, using its acute hearing to detect prey in complete darkness. It is known for its silent flight, a result of specialized feathers that reduce turbulence and noise. This owl may also hunt by day in certain Pacific islands.

Song & Calls

The male's call is a high-pitched, tremulous screech, while the female's is lower and harsher. These calls are often heard during courtship and territory establishment.


Breeding seasons vary by location, with clutches averaging around four eggs laid in tree hollows, old buildings, or cliff fissures. The female incubates the eggs and, along with the chicks, depends on the male for food.

Similar Species

The Eastern Barn Owl is similar to the Western Barn Owl (Tyto alba), but can be distinguished by its darker plumage and more pronounced speckling.

Diet and Feeding

The diet consists predominantly of small mammals, located by sound. The owl's diet can also include birds, lizards, amphibians, and insects, depending on local availability.

Conservation status

The Eastern Barn Owl is listed in CITES Appendix II, indicating that it is not currently considered threatened, but its trade must be controlled to avoid utilization incompatible with its survival. Habitat modification and provision of nest boxes have proven successful in increasing populations in certain areas.

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Eastern Barn Owls on Birda


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Sri Lanka Bay Owl

Phodilus assimilis
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