This medium-sized owl is about 35 centimetres long with a slim body, long wings and legs, a heart-shaped pale face and dark eyes. The plumage is typically very light, with two distinctive variations: either pure white or yellow-orange spotted dark underparts.
The barn owl breeds in farmland, copses and gardens, and in villages close to fields.
Mainly sedentary, the barn owl is nocturnal and crepuscular. It nests in the holes of trees, buildings or ruins, often using nest boxes inside farmhouses. The mating call is a frequently repeated “shrrreeee”. It eats voles, frogs and insects.