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BARRED OWL

Scientific Name: Strix varia
Order
Strigiformes (owls)

Family
Strigidae (typical owls)

Habitat & Range
The barred owl inhabits dense woodlands in Canada, the eastern United States, and northern Mexico. Recent studies have shown barred owls populations taking up residences in suburbs that have at least some tall trees.

Identification
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Name: ECHO (male); OPHELIA (female)
Location: Outside the Petting Barn
Born: Echo - 04/28/1997; Ophelia - 05/05/1992
Arrived at EPZ: Echo - 12/10/2009; Ophelia - 05/05/1992
 
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The barred owl has a pale face and dark rings around its brown eyes. It’s dark eyes set it apart from the typical yellow-eyed owls that inhabit the eastern United States. The owl has gray-brown mottled plumage that streaks horizontally across the chest and vertically down the belly.

Diet
The barred owl is an opportunistic predator. While it prefers to prey on small rodents such as voles, it has been known to include rabbits, squirrels, bats, possums, and weasels in its diet.

Reproduction & Lifespan
Barred owl mates are monogamous and will remain together for life. They are known to take over abandoned nests, and will return to the same nest throughout many breeding seasons. Barred owls are expected to live up to 10 years in the wild and over 20 years in captivity.

Fantastic Fact
“Who’s” Calling?
The barred owl is a very vocal species. Its usual call is a series of accented hoots ending in “oo-aw.” The call resembles the cadence of the phrase, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?"
 
 
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