Medium-sized owl with a heart-shaped facial disc and deep dark eyes; the only Tyto owl present throughout much of its range. Varies across a wide global range, but always note white-and-black speckling on the upperparts, beautiful gray-and-tawny wings, and large round head. Color of the facial disc and underparts varies from pure white to rusty orange. Hunts primarily rodents in open areas by night, foraging with a slow and buoyant flight. Roosts in old buildings, tree hollows, caves, and nest boxes by day. Its call is a bone-chilling, rising shriek.