Barred Owl, Strix Varia

Thoreau came to Owl’s Hill after being hit by a car.  He is missing most of his right wing and has trouble with one eye. 

Barred Owls are more active in the day than most owls and may often be seen or heard in mature woodland areas, especially near streams and swamps, but also upland forests. Very vocal and sometimes called the southern owl, their main call is frequently learned as, “Who cooks for you, Who cooks for you all?” The species is fairly common in Middle Tennessee.

Diet consists usually of small mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates.  Around Owl’s Hill it is not uncommon to find a pellet in the woods or by the creek with a crayfish claw in it.

Barred Owls prefer nesting in cavities in deciduous trees, but will sometimes use nest boxes or open nest of hawks, crows or squirrels. Two or three eggs are usually laid in early March and incubate for approximately 30 days.  The females do most of the incubation, but both species feed the young.  The fledglings leave the nest at four to five weeks, but do not fly well until about six weeks.  They remain  together as a family for three more months.

Barred Owl Distribution Map