Barred Owl Notecard
$3.00 – $24.00
Back of Card DESCRIPTION
Barred Owl (Strix varia)
The Barred Owl is a chunky, round-headed owl whose dark eyes and lack of ear tufts distinguish it from other large owls. It ranges over much of North America east of the Rockies, from Canada south to Florida, Texas and Central America. Its name derives from the crosswise barring patterns on the breast and lengthwise streaking on the belly. Barred Owls prefer dark, wet woods but live in a variety of habitats. These birds are skillful fliers that weave gracefully through heavy forest cover.
The Barred Owl is less aggressive than the Great Horned Owl; mice form the bulk of its diet. The bird often chooses tree cavities as nesting sites but may also take over the nest of a hawk or crow. They will readily accept nest boxes if the entrance is large enough. One of our most vocal owls, the large variety of unearthly calls can mystify listeners; the most common is a resonant, far-carrying series of eight hoots: who-cooks-for-you? who-cooks-for-you-all!? When two owls meet one another in the dark they often hoot back and forth excitedly.
Owls have the most versatile eyesight of any bird. Possessing an amazing ability to function under low light levels, owls are efficient nocturnal hunters. Most can also see well during the day. Although owls are less than one-fiftieth the weight of an adult human, their eyes are the same size as ours. But becuase the huge eyes are fixed within their sockets, they are less maneuverable than those of other birds. This immobility is compensated for by a highly developed set of neck muscles which allow the owl to follow an object by swiveling its head up to 270 degrees. The large, liquid brown eyes of the Barred Owl are distinctive; most owls have yellow eyes.
artwork and text by Steve Sierigk (c) 2001
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