||story and illustration by Gary Pendleton
Barred owls reside primarily in wooded river bottoms, stream valleys and swamps. They nest in tree cavities and the abandoned nests of hawks, crows and squirrels. Theyre also called hoot owls because their call is a sequence of loud, resonating hoots said to sound like Who cooks for you
who cooks for you aalll?
Large birds are relatively slow to develop, so owls, eagles and hawks begin nesting in winter to have enough time for the young to grow to self-sufficiency before winter comes around again. It can take up to 75 days from the time the eggs are laid until the young barred owls are able to fledge the nest. On the other hand bluebirds, for example, can produce a brood in less than four weeks.
I find owls in particular the barred owl with its dark, intense eyes to be beautiful as well as strange-looking creatures.