; class Aves, order Strigiformes)
A family of owls that have heart-shaped facial discs which meet above the bill in Tyto species (barn owls) but not in Phodilus species (bay owls). They have feathered legs, and a pectinate middle toe. They inhabit forests and grassland, feed (mainly at night) on mammals, birds, lizards, frogs, and insects, and nest mainly in tree cavities. There are two genera, with 12 species, found in Europe, Africa, southern Asia, Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia, and N., Central, and S. America.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.