Virtual museum of Canada
Collections from Storage: A Visit to our Hidden Treasures

With its white-ish facial heart-shaped disk and its piercing black eyes, the Barn Owl is easy to recognize. It nests in barns, abandoned buildings, hollow trees and even in church steeples, from which comes its name in French, Effraie des clochers.

The species is found on almost all continents, preferring tropical and temperate regions, and avoiding zones where the winter is too harsh. In Canada, the bird nests in southern Ontario and in British Columbia.

During recent decades, the population has decreased considerably because of agricultural practices and the impact of urbanization. In Canada, the population in the west and that in the east are considered as being, respectively, of special concern and endangered.

This specimen, collected in 1931 in Berthierville, is probably one of the rare instances of Barn Owls nesting in Quebec. It comes from the former collection of the Montreal Institution des Sourds-Muets.

With its facial heart-shaped disk and its black eyes, this Barn Owl is easy to recognize.

Credits : Patrick Pilon

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