From Birding

Lifebird #25 – An Owl of Our Own

Species  Barred Owl / Strix varia
Where Home
When January 2004
Who Joann
Number 25

For a few days in February of 2004, a Barred Owl took a real liking to two particular branches on trees in our front yard. Its favorite perch was on a branch stretching over our driveway at about twelve feet off the ground. Nicole and Tamara parked their cars under this branch at night, and more than once while they walked toward our front door, the owl would fly in absolute silence just over their heads. This freaked them out more than just a little bit.

The Barred Owl’s distinctive call, “Who, who cooks for you?” was a regular feature of winter nights in our neighborhood that year, and for a couple of years afterward.

Three or four years ago (early 2006 or 2007?) while walking our dog Katie, Joann surprised a Barred Owl that was feeding on a young rabbit just across the street from our house. The owl tried to fly away with its prey, but dropped the rabbit in the snow and never returned to retrieve it. I don’t think either of us has seen or heard a Barred Owl on or around our street since.

Barred OwlThis photo of a Barred Owl was taken in the Barataria Preserve south of New Orleans, Louisiana in April of 2008. It stood out pretty well against the light-colored oaks and cypresses of the wetland trail, but I would have walked right by it if Joann with her sharp eyes hadn’t spotted it.

See lifebird index.