According to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, the barn owl has a relatively short lifespan of 2 to 5 years in the wild. According to the Barn Owl Trust, around 70 percent of barn owls die within the first year of life.

There are several reasons why barn owls have such a short lifespan. Starvation plays a large role in the mortality of barn owls. Barn owls also tend to nest in close proximity to humans, which contributes to the barn owl mortality rate. This is due to the fact that many barn owls are killed by cars and accidental shootings.