Barn owls, my Bangalore neighbours

I stay in an apartment complex, situated in Cox town area of Bangalore. Over the past couple of weeks I have been hearing a screeching sound – that of a bird – and I was under the impression that it could be the sound made by nesting Kites.

Barn owls, from David Whistlecraft on flickr

Last evening, the screeching started again, once the sun set, and I rushed to my window to catch a glimpse of the creature that was making this noise.
As luck would have it, I happened to notice a pair of birds perched on the shaft-sill (which encloses apartment drain pipes). I was overjoyed – more so because I think I sighted Barn owls, even though in the late evening light I really couldn’t make out the details. Am rather confident they are barn owls – watching Animal planet and the like helps I guess.

In any case I noticed them again today, just soon after sun set. Need to get binoculars to observe them better. Looks like they are nesting. A quick web search pointed me to the Bangalore Barn Owl conservation group. So shot off a note to Dr. Subramanya, who runs that group, about this sighting.

Am overjoyed; love owls, and didn’t expect to sight Barn owls in a city setting. This news item provides some more information on why this is beginning to happen: “What a hoot! Barn owls in apartments


9 thoughts on “Barn owls, my Bangalore neighbours”

  1. Hi Sir,

    can you please let me know if they still come to this place.I want to capture them in my camera can reach me on 9845437051


    1. Joel,
      They are still around. I haven’t heard them or sighted them the last week or so. By the way, just wanted to let you know that the photo on my blog is not one I clicked, or of the owls in my apartment complex – am using a photo available on Flickr.
      You can drop me an email: kirsn_AT_yahoo_com

  2. I’m visiting South City in Bangalore, and there are a number of these nests here, too. They start “snoring” at around 7 in the evening, and keep it up all night. I’ve spotted the owls a couple of times, but couldn’t photograph them.

  3. spotted an owl on an apartment in jp nagar;looks like a barn owl but its whole body looked grey in colour including its face.have taken a pic but one will have to zoom the image n view it.

  4. Hi, all if the owls you sighted are still around please let me know, i want to make their impressions for recording the bio-diversity of bangalore.

    1. Well, I do not reside in that apartment complex anymore, so am not sure. My best guess is that they are still there. Good luck with your project.

  5. Hi guys since 2 days I am hearing the screeching sound of barn owls .I could see 2 of them .right behind my house and my tarace.
    Trying to take pictures.

  6. Dear Kiran,

    This blog made my day. I am possibly the most obsessive owl lover you will ever know, which also happened to bring me to your blog. Having spent most of my lifetime in London, my geography of Bengaluru (my birthplace) is quite bad. In London, I was lucky enough to come across a beautiful barn owl by the name of Edna, who is now around 6 years old. I’ve been in Bengaluru for just over a year now and despite searching everywhere for owls within the city and farm sides, I have not seen a single one. I have friends who live in areas like Bannerughatta Road and JP Nagar and they have spotted owls in their areas. I have heard a lot about owls in the early hours of the morning at Lalbagh which I have yet to explore. Curious to know, are the owls you spotted still around or regularly residing there? Also, any tips on where I may be able to sight them around Bengaluru would be great!

    Please join my page on Facebook, to spread awareness of owls being an omen of ‘good luck’ as opposed to the infamous carrier of bad luck. The ‘movement’ is called ‘Goobism’ – I also ‘Doodowl’, which is another token of appreciation for the owls being a part of our world – you can find them on Instagram hastagged ‘#doodowls’ and here –

    Many thanks for sharing the experience of your sighting!


    Ambika Jois


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