Barn Owls in India

Barn Owls in IndiaConservation Status:

  • IUCN: Listed as ‘least concern’ under IUCN red list
  • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule 3

The barn owl prefers open habitats such as agricultural fields, pastures, and marshland. They generally avoid mountainous areas and woodlands.

Characteristics of Barn owls

  • Barn owls are one of the most commonly found owls in the Indian Subcontinent.
  • These owls are medium-sized with long legs and wings. They have a shorter tail, compared to other similar-sized owls.
  • Barn Owl exhibits dark eyes and a distinct heart-shaped facial disc. Whereas owls generally have one of the most amazing colorful eyes compared to other birds.
  • It is a general belief that the bigger the bird, the more sound it makes while flapping its wings. However, barn owls have unique wings and feather features, that help them fly soundlessly.


  • The Barn Owls mostly hunt small mammals especially rodents (hence it’s called a farmer’s friend).
  • In Indian mythology, they are the vahanas (vehicles) of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.
  • Some consider an owl sighting during the festival of Diwali extremely lucky.
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