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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Tytonidae (Barn owl, Grass owl)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Strigiformes

Species indigenous to southern Africa

Tyto alba (Barn owl) 

The Barn owl has the widest distribution of any owl and is found in every continent except Antarctica. It's often associated with deserted buildings, as it uses them as roosting sites. It preys mainly on small mammals and birds, although termites have been recorded in its diet. The female incubates the eggs while the male hunts. Incubation starts with the first egg, which means that there are chicks of different ages in one nest. Older chicks sometimes feed their younger siblings and, when food is scarce, sometimes resort to eating the younger chicks.

Tyto capensis (African grass-owl)