Bird of the Week: Barred Owl

Ten Facts About Barred Owl

1. Unlike most North American owls, the Barred Owl has brown, not yellow eyes.

2. The Barred Owl’s famous “who cooks for you, who cooks for you all” call is most often heard late at night, the call is mainly used to communicate between pairs and to defend territory. 

3. Barred Owl nest in tree cavities – oftentimes they use cavities that were created and formerly used for nesting by Pileated Woodpecker.

Barred Owl babies in cavity nest. 

4.  Young Barred Owls take their first flight at 6 weeks old.

5. Barred Owl fossils (that are at least 11,000 years old) have been found in Florida, Tennessee, and Ontario. (Source: All About Birds)

6. Barred Owls are most commonly sighted near water, in mature forest habitats throughout the eastern United States. Though they have been expanding their range into the Pacific Northwest, much to the detriment of the Spotted Owl.

7. Barred Owl tend to hunt at night; rodents, amphibians, reptiles (including snakes), small birds, and even earthworms better watch out – the Barred Owl devours its prey head first!

Barred Owl eating a Garter Snake head first

8.  Barred Owl have an excellent sense of sound and vision.

9. Barred Owl can live up to 24 years in the wild and they mate for life. (Source: All About Birds)

10. The Barred Owl gets its name from the barring on its chest.

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