Barred Owl

Barred owl feathers are great camouflage for their preferred habitat of coniferous forests, but instead of relying on that camouflage to avoid harm, a barred owl will fly away at the slightest disturbance. This bird lacks ear tuffs on the top of its head, but does have asymmetrical ears (one higher than the other) that are located on each side of its head. This arrangement allows for more “surround sound” which helps the owl locate prey in the dark.

Barred Owl

Strix varia

Habitat: Throughout North American coniferous forests near water

Diet in the wild: Small reptiles, mammals, birds, some fish

Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Bird of prey diet, turkey neck, mice

Size: Wingspan of 43 inches

Family: The barred owl mates for life, but only interacts with its mate during mating season. Mates live in adjacent home ranges. Both parents care for the owlets until about 6 weeks of age.

Status: Least Concern

Did you know? A young barred owl can climb a tree by grasping the bark with its bill and talons, flapping its wings and making its way up the trunk.


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