barred owl

Barred Owl

Strix varia

CLASS Aves | ORDER Strigiformes | FAMILY Strigidae

RANGE North America

HABITAT Mature forests and heavily wooded swamps

DIET Rodents, squirrels, hares, frogs, reptiles, crawfish and insects

1 - 1.5 lbs

16 - 24 in

3 - 4 ft

28 - 33 days

1 - 5 eggs

IUCN Status
Least Concern
barred owl

The name barred owl comes from the beautiful brown and buff vertical color streaks or bars on their chest. The barred owl is commonly referred to as the "hoot owl." This name refers to its "hoot-hoot" call.

Its streamlined flight feathers allow it to swoop down on rodents and other small animals without a sound. Asymmetrical ears allow the bird to use triangulation to locate its prey. This enables the owl to pinpoint its prey even in total darkness. Owls can turn their head almost 180 degrees.

Barred owls are common throughout their range.