Predators of the Barn Owl


Great Horned Owl - Predator

Barn Owls do not have many predators. Adults Barn Owls in North America are occasionally killed by the Great Horned Owl and Red-Tailed Hawk but because they are larger than the western European Barn Owls they do not have as many enemies. On the other hand, the European owls have more predators that can be dangerous for them, because of their smaller size. These are: golden eagles, goshawks, red kites, buzzards, peregrine falcons, and the eagle and tawny owls. Though this is always a possibility, the ones that are more likely to be eaten by a predator are the very young, injured or sickly owls.

The Barn Owls stance when facing an intruder is a fascinating sight. They will hunch their body, spread their wings and sway from side to side, hissing at their intruder! From what we have read, if this doesn’t scare the intruder away, it will fall on its back and kick at the intruder with its talons.

It has been interesting to observe the Barn Owls living here because they seem to recognize immediately the difference between who is an intruder and who is not. The ones around here do not recognize the hawk as a threat at all. On the other hand, mom immediately recognizes the ravens and black birds as a great threat especially when she has laid eggs or is sitting on her chicks. When that happens, we see this exact behavior described above.

Protecting From Intruders