Where it all began: My love affair with Barred Owls

The very first owl I ever saw was a Barred Owl.  December 2010.  I had always thought it would be great to see an owl in the wild, but had never found one before.


Barred Owl 2010

The sighting of that little Barred Owl started a love affair with Barred Owls that continues to this day.   I have studied them extensively, know their local hangouts, and have (who knows how many) photographs of them.   Today’s blog will be a photo showcase of some of the beautiful Barred Owls I have had the pleasure to find.     These owls are not exotic or far away.   They are right in our local area.


Fluffed up on a cold day.

Barred Owls have beautiful striped feather patterns, that help them blend in with their surroundings in the woods.


On the Lookout


The Hunter- Brighton, Ontario

They will hunt rodents from an exposed perch such as a dead tree or an overhanging branch.


Owl Woods, Amherst Island, Ontario

Barred Owls are basically nocturnal.  Generally speaking when you come across a Barred Owl it will be roosting.   Though it will check you out and follow you with its eyes, it really does not want to move- it is resting.  If you move quietly and slowly, the owl may stay put.


Vision- Barred Owl in Jobes Woods- October 2013

This owl was only 7 feet up a tree, right next to the path I was on.   I would have had to walk right under it if I were to continue on down the path.   I just sat down quietly and watched it.   It watched me too.   Look at those eyes. Oh boy.


Barred Owl in the early morning light- Presqu’ile Park

Early morning is a great time to find Barred Owls.   This little owl was hunting, then settled in to roost.


My local sugar bush owl

Barred Owls are famous for their wonderful vocalizations.   “Who Cooks for you?  Who cooks for you-all?”   Once you have heard it you will never forget it.

Listen to the Barred Owl’s call here.

The highlight of my week this week was when I heard a Barred Owl calling in the woods near where I was walking.   Nobody else was around, so just for the fun of it I tried imitating it and calling back.    The owl flew over me, and with a big “whoooo-ahhh” settled into a tree just above my head. (!!!!!!)    Here it is:


October 2014- Barred Owl in the Dappled Shade

Love it.


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  1. Tremendous site. Looking forward to lots more. LOVED the “call” !!

  2. It’s crazy to think that you only saw your first wild owl a few years ago. Ohhhhh how things have changed. It’s so fun seeing these little guys through your lens 🙂

  3. Wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing Leslie! The eyes get me every time. 🙂

  4. Just came across your photos of owls. Awesome pictures. Thanks so much for sharing. My husband and I found our first one in the wild this year. We now have 3 different Barred owls and a baby Great Horned owl. We photograph from our car window most of the time. We love to photograph and move on without disturbing the animals.

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