Geographical Range North America
Habitat Dense woodlands, swamps, riparian forests
Scientific Name Strix varia
Conservation Status Common

The barred owl is superbly adapted for night hunting. Its keen hearing allows it to find food in total darkness, provided the prey animal moves slightly. It can also swoop down on rodents and other small animals without a sound, thanks to the streamlined shape of its flight feathers. The drab color of this bird allows it to roost undetected during the day, usually pressed against the trunk of a tree. The barred owl is the second largest owl in the St. Louis area. It can be distinguished from the larger great horned owl by its heavily-barred breast feathers and lack of ear tufts.

Did You Know?

The barred owl is commonly referred to as the "hoot owl." This name refers to its "hoot-hoot" call.