The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

Barred Owl
(Strix varia)


(click on any photos / drawings to enlarge)

IDENTIFICATION


(Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)

Size: 43-60 cm (similar to Red-tailed Hawk).   Description: Very rounded head, no ear tufts. Grayish-brown back with white spots. Dark horizontal bars on white chest, vertical stripes on belly. The only large eastern owl with dark eyes.   Habitat: Dense forests, especially near swamps or other wetlands.   Nest: Tree cavity or abandoned hawk or crow nest.   Range: Year-round resident in all provinces except Newfoundland. Very few individuals ever migrate.   Voice: Low series of hoots often described as "who cooks for you...who cooks for you all?", with the last note drawn out. Also a wide variety of other shrieks and screams.   Diet: Varied diet of rodents, birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and even fish.   Behaviour: Mostly nocturnal.   Notes: Becoming more common in western Canada.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

Link to Owls of New York State fact sheet

 

Barred Owl

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Canadian Peregrine Foundation