Eastern Barn Owl

Scientific Name: Tyto javanica

Malay Name: Serak Biasa

Chinese Name: 仓鸮

Range: Ranges from the Indian subcontinent in the west through Southeast Asia and the Indonesian archipelago up to the Solomon Islands and northern Vanuatu in the east

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: stertens, javanica, sumbaensis, meeki, delicatula, crassirostris, interposita.

Size: 34-36 cm

Identification: A medium-sized owl with distinctive, white facial disk and pale underparts. Proportionally large head, lacking ear tufts with relatively small, heart-shaped, dark-coloured eyes. Legs notably long with only sparsely feathered feet. Female is larger than the male with typically darker plumage.

Habitat: Urban structures, including under bridges, abandoned buildings, and in natural open-country habitats

Behaviour/Ecology: Normally solitary. Presence often detected by harsh shrieking call.

Local Status: Uncommon resident

Location: Any site with suitable habitat. Recorded in Sungei Buloh, Shears Bridge and the Istana building.


Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.