Strix variaowlb port


  • Strigidae


  • Wild: 20 to 25 years


  • Height: 17" to 20" with a 3.5 to 4 foot wing span.
  • Weight: 1 - 2 pounds.


  • North America


  • The barred owl prefers extensive mature deciduous forests, such as river bottomlands, northern hardwoods, and oak-hickory forests, but is also found in mixed conifer-deciduous forests and less commonly in spruce-fir forests.


  • Wild: Small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates. The barred owl is undoubtedly an opportunistic feeder, taking whatever is available.
  • Zoo: Frozen thawed rats


  • Barred owls begin nesting in March. They nest in hollow trees, in abandoned nests of other animals or in nest boxes.
  • The female lays two or three white eggs, which hatch in 28 to 33 days.
  • The newly hatched young are covered with fine white down. Young barred owls leave the nest four to five weeks after hatching.

Special Adaptations:

  • A barred owl's right ear is higher than its left ear. Hearing from two different angles helps it pinpoint the location of prey.
  • The barred owl is very vocal and will call even during the day.
    • It has a loud distinctive eight or nine note call which seems to ask Who-cooks-for-you, who-cooks-for-you-all in addition to other shorter calls, squeaks, and grunts.                

Raptor Facts

  • Raptors are carnivorous birds that hunt and kill other animals.
  • The raptor has talons for seizing prey and a hooked beak for tearing it apart.
  • Raptors have keen eyesight and can pick out prey from miles away.

Conservation Status

  • IUCN: Least Concern
  • CITES: Appendix II

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  1. CITES Appendices. Accessed December 2012.

  2. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Accessed December 2012.

  3. Barred Owl – National Geographic

  4. Vermont Critter Curriculum – Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department