The 2 Species of Owls Found in Tunisia! (2023)
Do you want to know the different types of owls in Tunisia?
If so, you have come to the right place. In the article below, I have listed the owls you can expect to see. For each species, you will find out how to identify each owl correctly, along with pictures, interesting facts, and RANGE MAPS!
The temptation to intersperse this entire article with puns is almost overwhelming. I could just wing it and beak-off about these birds all day long, but I really do give a hoot, and soon you would be talon me to stop it. Ok, settle down because that is owl you get. 🙂
Keep reading to learn about 2 Types of owls found in Tunisia!
#1. Barn Owl
- Tyto alba
- They have a heart-shaped, white facial disk with a tawny brown outline. Their eyes are black.
- The head, back, and tail are yellowish-brown with some white or ashy grey spots, and the underparts are white.
- Adults are 17.3 inches (44 cm) tall, with a wingspan of 9 to 12.6 inches (23 to 32 cm).
Although Barn Owns typically roost in hollow trees, they’re often found in caves, wells, and even secluded buildings. They’re nocturnal, so anywhere that provides a dark, quiet space for this species to rest is a likely spot for a roost.
Barn Owls eat small rodents, insects, baby rabbits, small birds, frogs, lizards, and bats. They fly low over the ground, searching out prey with their excellent night vision, and quietly grab their meal from the ground.
Interestingly, wild Barn Owls in Tunisia have a fairly short life span of around two years. But, when kept in captivity, this species can live up to 20 years. Although most animals live longer in captivity due to protection from predators and steady feeding, the Barn Owl takes it to a new level!
While this species is most active at night, they occasionally hunt just after sunrise or before sunset. Instead of trying to find one by sight, listen for its noises which can be varied and distinctive. They communicate with drawn-out screeches, distinct repetitive twittering, or low croaks. The Barn owl can also hiss or rasp when surprised.
#2. Little Owl
- Athene noctua
- The flattened head is defined by “eyebrows” that make this species appear angry. They have bright yellow eyes and beaks.
- Their coloring above is brown mottled with cream, with pale underparts.
- Adults are about 8 inches (20 cm) long with a wingspan of approximately 22 inches (56 cm).
The Little Owl is a small owl native to warm regions of Tunisia. They have a wide range of habitats, including forests, semi-deserts, and dunes. They can also live near humans and roost in barns, parks, and hedges.
Unlike most owls in Tunisia, this species is active during the day, so you have a good chance of spotting one.
It hunts by perching on trees and looking for movement on the ground. Once they spot something, they swoop down on it and grab it in their talons. You may also see a Little Owl taking prey to a hollow tree because this species often caches food for later.
The Little Owl mostly communicates through an evenly pitched, short call that sounds a little like a cat. However, they also use various forms of whistling when communicating. They recognize other individuals by their voices, which is handy during territorial disputes. Neighboring Little Owls will call in greeting to avoid a fight!
Do you need more help identifying an owl you saw in Tunisia?
If so, check out this field guide, which is full of great informationTunisia
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And be sure to check out these other articles about animals in Tunisia:
Which of these owls have you seen before in Tunisia?
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