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

Distribution: Deciduous and coniferous forests near rivers and swamps in the eastern and western United States, and in boreal forests in Canada.

Diet in the Wild: Small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.

Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Bird of prey diet, mice and turkey necks.

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern, population increasing

Interesting Facts:

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

Barred owls are mostly nocturnal, though they have been observed being active in the morning and evening.

Barred owls are not migratory and do not travel far from home. One study that banded and later found 158 barred owls found none of the owls more than 6 miles away from the sites that they were banded at.


All Rights Reserved