Barred Owl

Basic Information:

Scientific Name: Strix varia

Habitat: Barred owls are native to North America, especially the eastern region and US-Canada border.

Diet: Barred owls are a predatory species that hunt mice, voles, frogs, snakes, bats, and small animals.

Size: 1.2 to 2 feet high / 3 to 3.8 foot wingspan

Weight: 1.4 to 1.8 pounds

Lifespan: 15 to 20 years

Distribution Map:

I.U.C.N. Conservation Status:

What does this mean?

Least Concern – a species determined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (I.U.C.N.) to be pervasive, abundant, and thriving.

Our Barred Owl:

Grace (Female) – Estimated Date of Birth Between July 2000 & July 2008

Did You Know?!

  • Barred owls are nocturnal hunters, coming out in the evening and late at night to search for prey. Owls have great vision, but rely much more heavily on their sense of hearing to find prey.
  • Barred owls do not migrate and actually do not move around very much. In one study, most of the owls in a group did not move more than 6 miles from the locations where they were originally spotted and banded.
  • Owls are known as silent fliers. The molecular structure of their feathers differs from those that grow on a hawk, allowing them to glide through the night without alarming prey animals.
  • Barred Owls are smaller than great-horned owls and the latter is actually a known predator of barred owls.
  • The barred owl’s call is a very stereotypical “hoot” and birders often describe it as sounding similar to the question, “Who cooks for you?”
  • Barred owls are given their name from the “barred” pattern on their feathers. 

Due to needing time to set up for our Wine in the Wilderness Event, on June 3rd the zoo will be closing to the public at 1pm! We will reopen our doors at 6pm for the event! Event tickets will still be purchasable at our gift shop during this time!