In Season: Barred Owls

Vol. 8, No. 10
March 9-15, 2000
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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. They’re 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.

Copyright 2000
Bay Weekly