Posts Tagged ‘Barred Owl’

I could get close because he/she is sound asleep  …zzzzzzzzzz !


photo 4

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Just before dark I watches a pair of Barred Owls hunting in my front and side yard. I had lost sight of them until 5:55 PM when I saw this one land on a T-Post on a garden fence:







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This time (at 5 PM) he/she landed in a tree in the backyard and I was able to sneak out the front door and around the house; he saw me as soon as I rounded the house; but, I did get a few capture photos before he was gone:



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The photos of the owl appear different than those of the previous week’s Posts, so I think there is a pair; and it is the beginning of nesting season for Barred Owls in Arkansas. They also have a flight route pattern. The start in a large sweet gum tree that is not their nesting tree, then move to a sycamore tree with a dead branch to perch on, then on the a large short leaf pine with a long dead branch, then to a backyard bluebird house, then to a dead branch of an ancient red oak, then to a fence post in my garden, and finally on to another bluebird house on the “trail” then back to the sweet gum tree. The stay at each location for 5-10 minutes and scan the snow covered ground.

These photos were taken through a therm-o-pane sliding glass door (not clean) in very low light (high ISO), so are not clear at all. This is the last of this owl series unless I catch them in the open with a clear photo shot:


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This photo through a dirty window with a 400mm Canon lens on a Canon 50D (yielding 560mm at f/5.6) – not a very good shot but only got one before he noticed me in the window, this time he was on a different Bluebird House:


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On February 2nd, which was a misty, cloudy day; just before dark, a Barred Owl landed on a fence post in my yard. As I was preparing the camera to get a photo, he flew about 75 yards to a bluebird house where he spent 15 minutes scanning for prey. Since then I have seen him one more time. He appears to have been born last winter.


The picture of him leaving the post is not clear (did not have time to set the speed due to the dark weather), but the 2nd photo is a very long shot with a 600 mm Lens (about 100 yards), and is OK considering the distance and conditions:


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Taken with my light outfit; Canon 50D and a Canon 400L f/5.6:

This Barred Owl was sound asleep and peaceful this morning next to the Little Buffalo River near Parthenon. I sacred him off a cold weather roost and into a Hackberry Tree next to the river, got shots of him in 2 locations. I love listen9ing to these owls at this time of the year when mating begins; especially when they begin a group call. They sound like they are laughing, choking, singing, and they seem to feed on each others calls. The Barred Owl’s hooting call, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?” is a classic sound of old forests and treed swamps. But this attractive owl, with soulful brown eyes and brown-and-white-striped plumage, can also pass completely unnoticed as it flies noiselessly through the dense canopy or snoozes on a tree limb. Originally a bird of the east, during the twentieth century it spread through the Pacific Northwest and southward into California.

  • Size & Shape

    Barred Owls are large, stocky owls with rounded heads, no ear tufts, and medium length, rounded tails.

  • Color Pattern

    Barred Owls are mottled brown and white overall, with dark brown, almost black, eyes. The underparts are mostly marked with vertical brown bars on a white background, while the upper breast is crossed with horizontal brown bars. The wings and tail are barred brown and white.

  • Behavior

    Barred Owls roost quietly in forest trees during the day, though they can occasionally be heard calling in daylight hours. At night they hunt small animals, especially rodents, and give an instantly recognizable “Who cooks for you?” call.

  • Habitat

    Barred Owls live in large, mature forests made up of both deciduous trees and evergreens, often near water. They nest in tree cavities. In the Northwest, Barred Owls have moved into old-growth coniferous forest, where they compete with the threatened Spotted Owl.

Cool Facts

  • The Great Horned Owl is the most serious predatory threat to the Barred Owl. Although the two species often live in the same areas, a Barred Owl will move to another part of its territory when a Great Horned Owl is nearby.
  • Pleistocene fossils of Barred Owls, at least 11,000 years old, have been dug up in Florida, Tennessee, and Ontario.
  • Barred Owls don’t migrate, and they don’t even move around very much. Of 158 birds that were banded and then found later, none had moved farther than 6 miles away.
  • Despite their generally sedentary nature, Barred Owls have recently expanded their range into the Pacific Northwest. There, they are displacing and hybridizing with Spotted Owls—their slightly smaller, less aggressive cousins—which are already threatened from habitat loss.
  • Young Barred Owls can climb trees by grasping the bark with their bill and talons, flapping their wings, and walking their way up the trunk.
  • The oldest Barred Owl on record was at least 24 years old.



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