Barred Owl

Strix varia

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  • Barred Owl |  Photo: NPS
  • Barred Owl |  Photo: NPS
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Barred Owl Photo Gallery

Basic Information

Order

Strigiformes

Family

Strigidae

Size

Barred Owls are generally between 16.75 and 19.75 inches in length.

Lifespan

up to 18 years

Weight

Barred Owl (Strix varia) facts, habitat, range, owl pictures and bird watching tips to help you identify the bird of prey.

Diet

small mammals, Fish

Behavior

Ground Forager

Range

Common Midwest-Eastern U.S., Northern N.A.

Nest Placement

Tree

Number of Offspring

2–5 Eggs

Egg Description

White

Condition at Hatching

Feeble, eyes closed, white down covered

Social Status

Solitary

Wingspan

38.25–43.5 in

Observation Tips

To see a Barred Owl in the wild, take an night hike and listen for their "Who cooks for you?” call.

What does the Barred Owl look like?

Barred Owls are large with stout builds. They are brown with white streaks, have round heads, no ear tufts, rounded tails, yellow bills and large piercing black eyes on gray facial discs.

Barred Owl Habitat

Forests

Barred Owl Facts

Barred Owls are nocturnal birds of prey. They have steadily expanded their range westward into the Pacific Northwest, often displacing their threatened Spotted Owl cousin. Barred Owls only real predators are Great Horned Owls and they will often move territory when its aggressive relatives come to close. However if that does not happen, Barred Owls are very sedentary. They do not migrate and stay relatively in the same area for many years. They are often heard during night hikes with their classic “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?” call. They tend to feed on small rodents such as chipmunks, voles and even rabbits.

See also