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Barred Owl

Strix varia


Barred owls are large owls that prefer dense forests. They feed primarily on voles and mice, but will occasionally take birds, amphibians, and have been reported wading into water to capture fish.


Typically found in dense forests. I typically find them in floodplain forests, but they are apparently adapting well to wooded suburban yards. This last Christmas, we had one "join" us for dinner as it was perched just outside the dining room window for about four hours.

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LindsyCarranza 11 years ago

Amazing shot! I love owls :)

Gordon Dietzman
Gordon Dietzman 11 years ago

Galewhale--Great shot. Love it. Of course, it wasn't good for the squirrel as you note, but as a photographer I enjoy seeing the action and behavior you captured.

Michael--I've read a bit about barred owls moving into the spotted owl range and causing problems, but this was a great article and pulled those bits and pieces together. Thanks for posting it. Great article.

michaeladamsparks 11 years ago

There was a good story in Smithsonian Magazine about barred owls moving into spotted owl territory a few months ago...really incredible pictures:

galewhale..Gale 11 years ago

A bit like your Christmas owl.

galewhale..Gale 11 years ago

Thought this might interest you:
I watched this barred owl sit in a nearby tree in broad daylight for over two hours, same hunkered down 1/2 awake look on its face. Suddenly swooped down and grabbed a red squirrel. A very intense moment... sad for the squirrel but good for the nesting Owls.

Gordon Dietzman
Spotted by
Gordon Dietzman

Lilydale, Minnesota, USA

Spotted on Feb 20, 2011
Submitted on Feb 21, 2011

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