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Barred Owl

Uploaded by: pincollector1

Saturday August 4, 2012

Winnipeg, Canada

Caption: The Barred Owl is probably known best as the hoot owl. The adult is 16–25 inches long with a 38–49 inch wingspan. Weight in this species is 1.1-2.3 lbs). It has a pale face with dark rings around the eyes, a yellow beak and brown eyes. The head is round and lacks ear tufts, a distinction from the Short-eared Owl. The upper parts are mottled gray-brown. The underparts are light with markings; the chest is barred horizontally while the belly is streaked lengthwise. The legs and feet are covered in feathers up to the talons. Breeding habitats are dense woods across Canada, the eastern United States, and south to Mexico. The Barred Owl's nest is often in a tree cavity, often ones created by pileated woodpeckers; it may also take over an old nesting site made previously by a red-shouldered hawk, cooper's hawk, crow or squirrel. It is a permanent resident, but may wander after the nesting season. If a nest site has proved suitable in the past they will often reuse it as the birds are non-migratory. In the United States, eggs are laid from early-January in southern Florida to mid-April in northern Maine, and consist of 2 to 4 eggs per clutch. Eggs are brooded by the female with hatching taking place approximately 4 weeks later. Young owls fledge four to five weeks after hatching. These owls have few predators, but young, unwary owls may be taken by cats. The most significant predator of Barred Owls is the Great Horned Owl. The Barred Owl has been known to live up to 10 years in the wild and 23 years in captivity. The Barred Owl is a very opportunistic predator. The principal prey of this owl are meadow voles, followed by mice and shrews of various species. Other mammals preyed upon include rats, squirrels, rabbits, bats, moles, opossums, mink, and weasels. Birds are taken occasionally and commonly include woodpeckers, grouse, quails, jays, icterids, doves and pigeons, and even domestic ducks. Less commonly, other raptors are predated, including smaller owls. Avian prey are taken as they settle into nocturnal roosts, because the owl cannot catch birds on the wing. It occasionally wades into water to capture fish, turtles, frogs and crayfish. Additional prey include snakes, lizards, salamanders, slugs, scorpions, beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers. Prey is usually devoured on the spot. Larger prey is carried to a feeding perch and torn apart before eating. The Barred Owl hunts by waiting on a high perch at night, or flying through the woods and swooping down on prey. A Barred Owl can sometimes be seen hunting before dark. This typically occurs during the nesting season or on dark and cloudy days. Of the North American owls, it is the species most likely to be active during the day, especially when raising chicks. However, it generally hunts near dawn or dusk.

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About pincollector1

I am a professional photographer living in Winnipeg, Canada. My special interests are people and nature photography. I have been taking pictures for over 35 years. Winnipeg has a very agreeable climate in the Spring, Summer and Fall. Winters can be quite cold especially in January. No matter what season, picture taking opportunities in Winnipeg are excellent.

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