Who Cooks for You… Who Cooks for You-all

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Barred Owl

Since moving to the outskirts of the City a few years ago, I’ve taken every opportunity possible to just sit back and consume all that our Naturally Gifted area has to offer. On numerous occasions while sitting on the deck late in the evening an owl would call from a nearby perch but despite my efforts, I was never able to pinpoint it’s location.

Often I will cup my hands together, much the same as when making a loon call, blow into the cavity to mimic the call and they usually prove quite eager to converse. Occasionally they even seem to switch up a note or two to see if you are able to follow along. The call really does sound like “Who Cooks for You… Who Cooks for You-all”.

Barred Owl
Photo Credit: Bruce Clement

While driving home late in the evening this past weekend, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye which caused me to stop and reverse for a second look. Low and behold, i was finally face to face with one of my chatty buddies! Quickly grabbing my camera, I was able to exit the vehicle and  snap some shots from only a few meters away. I’m not sure whether the flash of the camera peaked his/her interest or not, but it made no effort to flee and was still there as we drove away.

Barred Owl
Photo Credit: Bruce Clement

Provided I’m correct (there seems to be a few colour variations depending on maturity and sex), I believe this little guy is a young Barred Owl yet to reach his/her full size. Their primary source of prey is a variety of rodents and they can be found perched up high waiting for prey to pass by below.

If you’d like to learn more about the Barred Owl, the following are a few links to get you started:

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Barred_Owl/lifehistory

http://www.owlpages.com/owls.php?genus=Strix&species=varia