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Barred Owl

Strix varia


Large owl. Head round with no ear tufts. Eyes dark. Underparts whitish with dark streaks. Note- the eyes are actually Black, I captured the first photo just as he was blinking so the light areas that you are seeing are actually his eyelids! the last photo was taken while he slept :)


Forested areas, from swamps and riparian areas to uplands. Prefers large blocks of forest. (note, All about birds says it prefers large blocks of forests, however this one and its mate live in a very small block of woods next to a railroad track in the city of Tallahassee).


Interesting Fact - I was able to locate this owl and its mate several times during the day - only due to the fact that when a train comes by, they let out one of their hoots! Not sure if they do this everywhere, but thought it interesting... So far the only owl I have had the pleasure of seeing and photographing.. A large owl of extensive woodlands, the Barred Owl is familiar for its distinctive "who-cooks-for-you, who-cooks-for-you-all" hooting.

No species ID suggestions


MaryEvans2 6 years ago

WOW Thanks ChristyHolland, I knew it was the eyelid, but had no idea they can still see through them! Very interesting.
Thank you dxmgs1

ChristyHolland 6 years ago

@Birding for fun - you actually see the closed nictitating membrane (third eyelid) - it's used to protect the eye but the owl can still see out of it.

ChristyHolland 6 years ago

Great series!! I love your story...either they're courting the train or they're defending their territory (probably the latter!). ;-)

MaryEvans2 6 years ago

Thank you birding for fun :)

Birding For Fun
Birding For Fun 6 years ago

Wow. The first photo is very interesting. I like how the light got reflected in it's eyes.

Florida, USA

Lat: 28.94, Long: -81.34

Spotted on Mar 24, 2011
Submitted on Feb 10, 2012

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