My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

An unusual visitor at the banding station

Barred Owl

The Barred Owl (Strix varia) is a year round resident who doesn’t migrate like the Northern Saw-whet Owls.  They have a very large 42 inch wingspan and a very rounded head. I hear many more Barred Owls than those I get to see.  Their very well known for their calls in the middle of the night which sounds like “hoo hoo ho-ho, hoo hoo ho-hoooooaw” or also known as “who cooks for you, who cooks for you all”.   Bents life history series of books mentions that they are more diurnal than nocturnal but I guess that depends on the neighboring food supply.

barred owl

I have had these owls in my nets before but they always seem to get out before my opportunity to band them.  The banding team took no chances in giving this owl a chance to get out. This is an adult bird which I was unable to determine its sex!  You can be sure that everyone at the station was extremely excited once we realized what we had just captured. As you can see they are very large in size compared to the tiny N Saw-whet Owls that we are use to handling.  The moon was bright and we truly didn’t expect a saw-whet (which I should mention we also captured) yet alone a Barred!

7 oct 2006 front 

As you can see, most of the movements of birds were mostly along the eastern side of New York and New Jersey! Althought there was some movement across all of the North East.

4 responses

  1. Wow, I would absolutely love to be so close to such a wonderful owl! Great photos!

    Best,
    _Adam

    20 October 2006 at 10:20 pm

  2. Thanks, my field assistants were very excited also!

    20 October 2006 at 10:37 pm

  3. Huge owl – very cool!! You have some really interesting experiences in ASP! I’ll be back to read more posts later!

    5 January 2007 at 12:00 pm

  4. Yes, always an adventure with me!!

    5 January 2007 at 5:44 pm

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