The barred owl is a large grey-brown owl with a large puffy round head and no ear tuffs (as there is in the great horned owl). The chest is barred across, and the belly barred lengthwise with white or pale buff. The back is spotted with white. It has large brown eyes, where most larger western owls have yellow eyes.
The hooting of the barred owl usually constists of 8 accented hoots, in 2 groups of 4 finishing in an "aw" sound. Some peaple say it sounds like it says: Who-are-you - Who-are-you-all!
Less common in Alberta then the more familiar great horned owl, the barred owl can be found as far north as Lesser Slave Lake and as far south as Calgary and Rocky Mountain House. The barred can be found in deep dark woods along rivers or lake shores and like most owls is nocturnal. The barred owl preys mostly on mice or voles that are active at night and located mostly by sound rather than sight.
© 2002 University of Alberta Museum of Zoology