D50 Archives: Barred Owl

For my first “D50 Archives” post of 2014 (BTW, if you follow the Gregorian calendar, Happy New Year!!!), I wanted to feature a rather soggy looking Barred Owl (en français: Chouette rayée | scientific name: Strix varia), taken on a rainy October day in 2012. Although I had already heard this bird’s impressive and booming voice, I had never seen one before. It was quite a thrill, especially since it is surprisingly difficult to see owls even when they are out and about in daylight.

Taken along the Lost Lagoon trail in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC

Taken along the Lost Lagoon trail in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC

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3 thoughts on “D50 Archives: Barred Owl

  1. I find the Barred Owls call particularly gutteral and scratchy. The one time I heard them in the wild, I wasn’t even certain it was a bird! The Barred Owls I work with, generally refuse to make their call in human presence.

    1. The only time I heard a Barred Owl in full call for an extended period of time was in a mountainous area of Quebec, so the echo effect amplified the cry and gave it an amazing booming quality. Didn’t sound scratchy at all! It was quite an experience, in fact. I have been told that some people mistake their call for the bark of a dog, although I can’t quite understand why. And I found your comment about not making the call in human presence quite intriguing: I wonder why?

      1. I came across one in a county park this summer. My friend and I were out birding and we were debating bird, mammal or injured human when we saw the owl take flight.

        During operational hours, we’ve never heard the owls call, including during our evening programing. There was one night hour that most of the staff had departed and it was just my boss and I silently finishing up some paperwork inside. Suddenly we heard the whoo-whooo initial start of the call. We exclaimed, jumped up and the owls were silent the remainder of our time there which to our disappointment.

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