This week the Forest Ecology building had an exciting visitor- a barred owl! Perched in an aspen facing the Northeast side of the building, the bird remained perfectly still observing chickadees flying to and from our bird feeders. Barred owls can be identified by their rounded head (no ‘ears’), black eyes, yellow beak, and by their brown and white and brown striped plumage.
Barred owls are primarily nocturnal hunters that roost during the day. They are excellent hunters of small mammals. You may wonder how they find prey in the winter time that is often hiding in the subnivean zone under the snow. Barred owls have excellent hearing that allows them to track prey under dense snow pack. Amazing!
By Jenna Arvidson
Source: the Cornell Lab of Ornithology