The Barn Owl is a pale, long-winged, long-legged owl with a squarish tail. Tail shape is a way of distinguishing the Barn Owl from owls of the strigidae family. 33–39 cm in length with an 80–95 cm wingspan. Its head and upperparts are buff, and the underparts are white. The face is heart shaped. In the US and the UK it is incorrectly sometimes called Screech Owl because the Barn Owl has a notable shree scream, ear-shattering at close range. It can hiss like a snake, and when captured or cornered, it throws itself on its back and flails with sharp-taloned feet, an effective defence. Contrary to popular belief, it does not make the call “tu-whit to-whoo” (which is made by the Tawny Owl).