Barred Owl

Earliest Date: Sep 30
Latest Date: Dec 1
Peak Migration: 15 - 31 Oct

The name “Barred” comes from the horizontal feather streaking along this bird’s breast.

Other names: Black-eyed owl, bottom owl, crazy owl, hoot owl, laughing owl, old folks’ owl, rain owl, round-headed owl, swamp owl, wood owl

Hunting habits: This owl eats mostly mice, but also takes some chipmunks, red and gray foxes, flying squirrels, mink, opossums, weasels, rabbits, shrews, bats, doves, quail, small owls, purple gallinules, flickers, kingfishers, crows, jays, other bird, frogs, crayfish, lizards, snakes, snails, salamanders. Sees very well in daylight. Sometimes hunts on cloudy days.

Migrating habits: This species usually does not migrate. Occasional food shortages and/or unusually deep snow lead to late fall and winter invasions. Individuals become more visible because hunger forces them to hunt in the daytime.

Nesting habits: Nests in a tree cavity or the abandoned nest of a hawk, crow, or squirrel. The female does most of the incubating of the 2-3 white eggs. It takes them 28 days to hatch, and the young first fly about 42 days after hatching.

Length: 43-61 cm

Wingspan: 101-127 cm

Weight: males average 630 grams; females 800 grams

Life expectancy: One lived 23 years in a California zoo. One banded bird lived 18 years, 2 months.

Image Credits: Debbie Waters