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.

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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.

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Fluffed up on a cold day.

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

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On the Lookout

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The Hunter- Brighton, Ontario

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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October 2014- Barred Owl in the Dappled Shade

Love it.

 

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6 Comments:

  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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