The genus Tyto includes all barn-owls (family Tytonidae) except for the bay-owls (subfamily Phodilinae, genus Phodilus) – that is, the true barn-owls, the grass-owls and the masked-owls collectively making up the subfamily Tytoninae. They are darker on the back than the front, usually an orange-brown colour, the front being a paler version of the back or mottled, although there is considerable variation even amongst species. Tyto owls have a divided, heart-shaped facial disc, and lack the ear-like tufts of feathers found in many other owls. Tyto owls tend to be larger than Bay-owls.
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Tyto aurantia is endemic to the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea. It is known from very few specimens and just two recent sightings. Tyto owls have become prehistorically extinct through unknown causes on the adjacent islands of Mussau and New Ireland3. However, as with other congeners, it is likely to be overlooked and it may prove to be not uncommon and tolerant of logged forest