Barred Owl (Strix varia)
Also know as the Swamp Owl, Striped Owl, Hoot Owl, Eight Hooter, Round Headed Owl, and Rain Owl
Description: The Barred Owl is a large gray-brown and white bird with a round head and no ear tufts. While most other owls have yellow eyes, the Barred Owl has brown eyes. It has a small sharp dull yellow beak. Named after the bars on its chest the Barred Owl is the most vocal of Eastern owls.
Call: It is sometimes called the laughing owl due to its many vocalizations. Its call resembles, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?"
People often mistake the Barred Owl for a Spotted Owl. See if you can find the differences between the two species.
Range / Habitat: Barred owls live in forested areas, from swamps and riparian areas to uplands. The species prefer large blocks of forest.
Click the range map to learn more about the distribution of Barred Owls in Washington.
Diet: Small mammals, rabbits, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates.
Nesting: Barred owls build nests in cavities in deciduous trees or uses open nest made by hawk or crow. They also use nest boxes. The Barred Owl usually nests between February and May.
The owl lay a clutch of 1-5 white eggs. Both adults incubate the eggs for about 28 days when the eggs hatch. The young can fly at 42 days old.
Behavior: The Barred Owl is familiar for its distinctive "who-cooks-for-you, who-cooks-for-you-all" hooting. They are know to wade in water to catch crayfish.
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Photos: Natures Pics