The Owl Pages

Ashy-faced Owl ~ Tyto glaucops


The Ashy-faced Owl is a medium-sized barn owl with no ear-tufts. It is also known as the Hispaniolan Barn Owl.

Photo Gallery (2 pictures)

  • Ashy-faced Owl
  • Ashy-faced Owl

Sound Gallery

Typical calls - La Vega, Dominican Republic. April 2013. [Cedar Mathers-Winn] © Macaulay Library.


Description: The facial disc is ashy-grey with a prominent orange-brown rim. There is a faint brownish wash at the lower edge of the eyes, which are blackish-brown. The bill is yellowish-horn.
Upperparts are yellowish-brown with blackish vermiculations. The edge of the wings near the wrist is orange-brown, and the wings are yellowish-brown, finely mottled dark. The primaries, secondaries and tail have a few dark bars.
Underparts are yellowish-brown with dark arrow-shaped spots. The legs are relatively long, and feathered yellowish-brown. The toes are bare, greyish-brown, and sparsely bristled. The claws are blackish-brown.

Size: Length 33-35cm. Wing length 240-280mm. Tail length 127-160mm. Weight 260-535g. Females are larger and heavier than males.

Habits: The habits of the Ashy-faced owl are little known, but likely similar to that of other barn owls.

Voice: A rasping wheeze of 2-3 seconds duration, different from the American Barn Owl. Also utters rapid clicking trills.

Hunting & Food: Feeds on small mammals such as mice and rats. Also takes small birds, frogs, reptiles and insects.

Breeding: The breeding habits of this owl are not known, but likely similar to that of other barn owls.

Habitat: Open country with scattered trees and bushes, often near human settlements. Also found in open forest. Ranges from lowlands to above 2000m elevation.

Distribution: This owl is endemic to the island of Hispaniola and some smaller surrounding islands in the Caribbean.

Range of Ashy-faced Owl (Tyto glaucops)
Range of the Ashy-faced Owl Tyto glaucops

Status: Listed as 'Least Concern' by Birdlife International.

Original Description: Kaup, Johannes Jacob. 1852. Contributions to Ornithology 1848-1852 [Jardine], 6, p. 118.

References: (may contain affiliate links)
BirdLife International. 2020. "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species". IUCN.
Boyer and Hume. 1991. "Owls of the World". BookSales Inc.
del Hoyo, Elliott & Sargatal. 1999. "Handbook of the Birds of the World: Barn Owls to Hummingbirds". Buteo Books.
Duncan, James R.. 2003. "Owls of the World: Their Lives, Behavior and Survival". Firefly Books.
König, Claus & Weick, Friedhelm. 2008. "Owls: A Guide to the Owls of the World (Second Edition)". Yale University Press.
Mikkola, Heimo. 2012. "Owls of the World: A Photographic Guide". Bloomsbury.
Voous, Karel H.. 1988. "Owls of the Northern Hemisphere". The MIT Press.
Tyto glaucops at Xeno-canto.

See also: Other owls from Central America, Genus: Tyto.

Page by Deane Lewis. Last updated 2020-11-11. Copyright Information.