Barn Owl (Tyto alba)
Location: near Tucson, Arizona, USA
This is the Barn Owl (Tyto alba). One of this owl's distinguishing features is its lovely heart-shaped white face. The Barn Owl is said to be one of the most widely distributed birds in the world, occurring naturally on every continent except Antarctica.
I photographed this individual at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, outside of Tucson, Arizona. One of the most interesting outdoor exhibits at the museum is a raptor free-flight demonstration. The Barn Owl is one of several birds of prey included in this demonstration, in which raptor species native to the Arizona desert are displayed in their natural habitat.
Update: Here is a photo of the Barn Owl in flight, and another portrait of the Barn Owl, in profile.