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Barred Owl - BirdForum Opus

Strix varia


  • Length 48-51 cm, wingspan 107-111 cm, weight 630-800 g
  • Adult shows pale face, dark rings around the eyes, yellow beak, brown eyes, no ear tufts, upper parts mottled grey-brown, light underparts with dark markings which are mainly vertical, legs and feet covered in feathers up to the talons.
  • Fledglings are downy like in most owls; older fledglings shows horizontal markings on breast, opposite of what is shown in adults.


Resident from Minnesota south to eastern Texas and east to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia south to Florida. Also in central Canada west to British Columbia and in northern Washington and Idaho.

Photo by GaryT
Hills Creek State Park, Tioga County, Pennsylvania, May 2007


Cinereous Owl was formerly included in this species.


Polytypic. Three subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • S. v. varia:
  • S. v. georgica:
  • S. v. helveola:


Forests or suburban areas.


Photo by DougLaslj
Gibson Township, Michigan, July 2008


They nest in a tree cavity; 2 to 4 eggs are laid and incubated by the female for about 4 weeks. The young fledge after a further four to five weeks.


The diet includes mainly mice, but also rabbits, chipmunks, foxes, opossums, birds such as grouse and doves.


A series of deep hoots that sound very similar to Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you, all?
Young birds give a loud shrieking


Photo © by Stanley Jones
Camelot Park, Bryan, Brazos County, Texas, USA, June 2020
  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F. and Donsker, D. (Eds). 2017. IOC World Bird Names (version 7.3). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. König, C. and F. Weick 2008. Owls of the World, second edition. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 978-0-7136-6548-2
  4. Howell & Webb, 1995. A guide to the birds of Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198540124

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1