Not to be
with the barn owl, the barred owl lives up to its name.
Look at its plumage. It is a
medium sized owl, one to two pounds, with a three to four foot wing
span, that perfectly
illustrates the relationships between the sexes in raptors. You will often see the smaller male standing
behind the female at the far corner of the cage, especially if someone
the cage. She
protects the nest
and him, if necessary. in
return, when she sits on the eggs, he feeds her. Whereas great horned
owls look handsome, but forbidding, barred owls are quite beautiful.
The feet of the owl are more adaptable than that of any other raptor. Their toes can position themselves either two in front, two in back like woodpeckers, or three in front, one in back, like most other birds. This makes perching and grasping prey more fool proof.
When the Federal government placed the spotted
owl, a related species indigenous to the northwest, on the endangered
list back in the 90s, they forgot to tell barred owls, who in spreading
west across the country, have been
and interbreeding with the spotted owls ever since. Both the Bush and
Obama administrations have wrestled with the difficult and politically
sticky question, whether to shotgun barred owls in the northwest, or
risk losing the spotted owl altogether. To the extent that
barred owls prefer old growth forests, they are an indicator species
for this type of forest.
Gary Berke and Steve Hall
|Saw Whet Owl||Barn
|Broad Winged Hawk||Swainsons Hawk||Rough
Adirondack Wildlife Refuge & Rehabilitation Center
Steve & Wendy Hall
PO Box 555, 977 Springfield Road, Wilmington, NY 12997
Toll Free: 855-Wolf-Man (855-965-3626)
Cell Phones: 914-715-7620 or 914-772-5983
Office Phone: 518-946-2428
Email us: info@AdirondackWildlife.org