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Barred Owl

Photos Gary Myers; MCB Quantico on the Nokesville Christmas Bird Count; December 27, 2010

Text by Dat Le and Carrson Baldwin

Barred Owl
Strix varia

The Barred Owl is a very popular owl on the east coast and the entire Eastern United States. This owl typically stays from the border of Texas up into Canada and all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

The Barred Owl can be seen in various types of forests from swamps to uplands. They create a cavity into deciduous trees or use a nest on a branch made by Hawks or Crows.

These animals are nocturnal and hunt at night perched high waiting for prey to wander by; typically smaller mammals like rats, mice, but also will hunt snakes and other invertebrates.

The Barred Owl adult and the young look very similar to each other, they are larger owls with round heads and dark eyes. The feathers are light brown with a darker trim that almost completely cover the yellow beak of the Barred Owl. A full grown adult will reach a height around 40-63cm with a wingspan double their height and typically weigh 500-1,050 grams.

The breeding season of the Barred Owl is during the Spring and Summer starting in March and ending in August. The female owls lay about 2-4 eggs, they are completely white and almost perfectly round. The eggs take a month to hatch and while the females are tending to the eggs, the males will gather food and bring it to the females at the nest.

Barred owls tend to live up to 32 years in captivity and 10 or more years in the wild. Most of the owls deaths are caused by man, and the barred owls greatest enemy is the Great Horned Owl.

The Owl Pages