Barn owls are making a comeback in Ohio, and more people every year have the pleasure of witnessing these beautiful birds. They are often observed during summer months when adults are actively feeding nestlings in barns, silos, and similar structures.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife relies on reports of barn owl nests to help track population trends for this state threatened species. If you observe or receive a report of an active barn owl nest, please report it or advise the observer to report it at wildohio.gov/reportwildlife or call 1-800-WILDLIFE
Barn owls are easily identified by their white, heart-shaped face, large black eyes and golden brown and gray back. Adult barn owls communicate with shrieks and hissing-like calls, while the calls of young barn owls begging their parents for food are often heard on late summer nights. Pellets are another indication barn owls may be nesting within a barn or other structure.
To combat barn owl population declines, the Ohio Division of Wildlife began installing barn owl nest boxes across the state. Nest boxes were monitored annually to determine the number of barn owls nesting in the state. Boxes were also cleaned out in the winter to ensure barn owls can use the boxes. Barn owl populations began to rebound thanks to the nest box program.