17-24" (43-60 cm). Whitish gray with dark barring across chest and streaked lengthwise on belly. Puffy head with brown eyes.
Similar Species- Spotted Owl, Great Gray Owl
Usually eight accented hoots, in two groups of four.
Resident from portions of Alaska, southern British Columbia, western Washington, eastern Oregon, and northeastern California, east through northern Idaho and northwestern Montana to portions of south-central Canada. Also resident in portions of eastern Canada and eastern, midwestern, and southern United States. Appears to be expanding range southward in Idaho.
Eats mice, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, and other mammals. Small mammals such as voles, deer mice, and shrews often comprise bulk of diet.
Nests in abandoned or natural cavity in standing snag. Nocturnal. Flies at low altitude to locate prey. Birds feeding young may also forage diurnally. Opportunistic foraging may occur at any time. Minnesota study found home range was usually less than 400 ha (but up to 760) over 2-7 mo; boundaries generally remained constant from year to year, with no overlap (usually), except for mated pair. Annual home range averaged 282 ha in Michigan. Reported density was 0.03-1.0 pairs/km2. Species has become established in northern and central Idaho since at least 1968.
|Status:||Protected nongame species|
Olson, R.A., T. Craig, and E. Craig. 1978. Recent records of the barred owl, Strix varia, in Northern Idaho. J. Id. Acad. Sci. 14:24-25.