Owls rely on their sight, as well as their hearing, to hunt. Without his eyesight, he would most likely become prey himself, even if he survived the initial injury.
He is quite a beautiful owl even with his obvious eye injury.
Facts about the Barred Owl
- "Barred" refers to his coloration. He has alternating bars of color
- Back feathers are brown bars (or stripes) alternating with white bars
- Underside (throat, breasts, stomach, etc) mostly buff or white color feathers with brown stripes
- Yellow Beak
- Brown eyes (as opposed to the yellow or orange eyes of other owls)
- No Ear Tufts
- One ear is lower than the other to give the owl better honing ability when hunting
- Vocal Owls often referred to as "hoot owls"
- Can live up to 20 years
- Monogamists (mates for life)
- The Barred Owl couple lives together during the breeding months, but separately and close by each other the rest of the year
- Both parents feed the baby owls
- Lives in the woods, nests in trees. Has been known to take over abandoned hawk or crow nests.
- Eats frankly anything smaller than itself. Rodents, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates.
- Hunts from dusk till dawn
- Wingspan: Up to 4 feet
- Body Length: Up to 20"
- Weight: Up to 2.3 lbs
A Controversial Effort
For nearly 50 years, humans have laid the blame of the reduced Spotted Owl species (not classified as endangered) at the talons of the Barred Owl. There are several "experiments" taking place now to see if the Barred Owl is killed in certain areas IF the Spotted Owl will return and survive there.
A couple of things to keep in mind as you ponder this "experiment". The Barred Owl is killed by the Great Horned Owl in nature. The Barred Owl is the medium sized owl with the Spotted Owl being smaller and the Great Horned Owl being larger.
Also, all wildlife is being forced to move to new territories as humans continue to reduce the forest and natural habitat. Should we really be killing one species as it simply moves to survive because humans encroach upon it's native territory?
If we deplete the Barred Owl species, will the Great Horned Owl then seek a new food source in the Spotted Owl? Will we then target the Great Horned Owl?
Also, what is the benefit of the Spotted Owl over the Barred Owl in nature?
For More Information on the exact locations of this killing experiment, see this Newsweek article from May of 2015
Get Your Own Barred Owl - And Protect Him!