Thursday, March 02, 2006

Barred Owl - Strix varia

After a day of exploration we were returning to the cabin along a little traveled back road through New Portland, Maine when a large dark streak swooped down the roadway ahead of us and off to the side into the trees.
We pulled to a stop quickly and peered through the branches to see the back of a beautiful Barred owl.
As we eased back a few feet for a better angle of view, it turned and stared back at us.

I scarcely got the camera out when he flew back down the road. As quickly as possible we got into position again but he only posed for one last photo before heading off into the dusk.
The Barred Owl is a medium-sized gray-brown Owl streaked with white horizontal barring on the chest and vertical barring on the belly. They are round-headed with a whitish/brown facial disk with dark brown trim. The eyes are brown, and the beak is yellow and almost covered by feathers. They have a long tail. There is no difference in plumage between males and the larger females.

The Barred Owl is highly vocal giving a loud and resounding "hoo, hoo, too-HOO; hoo, hoo, too-HOO, ooo" frequentely suggested to query "Who, cooks, for-you? Who, cooks, for-you, all?" - The last syllable drops off noticeably. Like some other Owl species, they will call in the daytime as well as at night.


Blogger Pam in Tucson said...

I'm sorry to hear you still have the flu, but happy that you're at least well enough to post these beautiful photos of your vacation. What a lovely location. I've never seen a barred owl ... its a beautiful bird. I remember Maine from vacations long ago. Our honeymoon in 1957 was on Monhegan Island. Get better quickly ...

1:47 PM  
Blogger Lorianne said...

Hey...I saw a barred owl yesterday & blogged it today: it seems to be an active time of year for them!

Your photos are better than mine, especially that last one, which is gorgeous!

6:38 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

oh, what a beautiful owl!!

9:38 PM  
Blogger Rexroth's Daughter said...

Such a beautiful bird. We have yet to see any owls here in the northwest, and yet we know they are here. We keep looking.

Endment-- what program are you using to upload your photos to blogger?

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Home Bird said...

Gorgeous photos of a gorgeous bird, Endment. Thanks for posting these.

11:34 PM  
Blogger LauraHinNJ said...

Lovely photos of a great bird.

11:06 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Great shots!

1:15 PM  
Blogger Nan said...

I've never seen a barred owl, but often have been awakened to its unique call in the middle of the night. Great photos!

12:39 AM  
Blogger Gwyn said...

I loved the photo with that last bit of light hitting him. Barred Owls are one of my favorites. I had a wonderful "conversation" with one in December.

1:57 PM  

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