Definitions for tytonidae
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Tytonidae, family Tytonidae(noun)
comprising only the barn owls
Barn-owls are one of the two families of owls, the other being the true owls, Strigidae. They are medium to large sized owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long, strong legs with powerful talons. They also differ from Strigidae in structural details relating in particular to the sternum and feet. The barn owls comprise two extant sub-families: the Tytoninae or Tyto owls and the Phodilinae or bay-owls. The Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy unites the Caprimulgiformes with the owl order; here, the barn-owls are a subfamily Tytoninae. This is unsupported by more recent research, but the relationships of the owls in general are still unresolved. The barn owls are a wide ranging family, although they are absent from northern North America, Saharan Africa and large areas of Asia. They live in a wide range of habitats from deserts to forests, and from temperate latitudes to the tropics. The majority of the 16 living species of barn owls are poorly known. Some, like the Red Owl, have barely been seen or studied since their discovery, in contrast to the Common Barn Owl, which is one of the best known owl species in the world. However, some sub-species of the Common Barn Owl possibly deserve to be a separate species, but are very poorly known.
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