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Barred Owl

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About the Barred Owl

Also known as: Wood Owl, Striped Owl, Hoot Owl, Eight Hooter, Rain Owl

The Barred Owl is a large species of owl that lives across Canada, eastern United States and south into Central America. They are tuftless and have a pale face with dark rings around the eyes, dark eyes and a yellow beak. They are named for the bars on their bodies, which are horizontal across the upper chest and vertical across the lower chest.

Barred Owls prefer to nest in deep moist forests and wooded swamps. They are a highly vocal species. One part of their vocalization is said to sound like they are asking a funny question: Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 02 December 2009
Scientific Name Strix varia
  • Strigiformes
  • Strigidae
  • Strix
  • S. varia
Birdorable Family Owls
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 15 May 2017)
Measurements
Units: Imperial Metric
17 to 20 inches
40 to 50 inches
Range North America Central America

International Names

  • 横斑林鸮 (Chinese)
  • Puštík Proužkovaný (Czech)
  • Båndet Natugle (Danish)
  • Gestreepte Bosuil (Dutch)
  • Amerikanviirupöllö (Finnish)
  • Chouette Rayée (French)
  • Streifenkauz (German)
  • Allocco Barrato (Italian)
  • アメリカフクロウ (Amerikafukurou) (Japanese)
  • Puszczyk Kreskowany (Polish)
  • Неясыть полосатая (Russian)
  • Cárabo Norteamericano (Spanish)
  • Kråsuggla (Swedish)

Related articles & downloads

Who cooks for you?

Who cooks for you?

Have you ever heard a Barred Owl hoot its distinctive call: "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you, all? ...? This is our Birdorable version of the Barred Owl, our newest ... more
Baby Birdorable: Barred Owl

Baby Birdorable: Barred Owl

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr) of the Barred Owl. Barred Owls incubate their ... more
Halloween Barred Owl Mask

Halloween Barred Owl Mask

Barred Owls are known for their distinctive "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?" call. Pairs of Barred Owls perform amazing hooting vocal duets, so grab a friend and go ... more
Bird Song Matching Quiz

Bird Song Matching Quiz

A mnemonic device is something used to aid memory or learning. Sometimes birders 'translate' bird songs into mnemonics to help them remember which bird is singing a particular song. We've made a ... more
Bird Song Quiz

Bird Song Quiz

A mnemonic device is something used to aid memory or learning. Sometimes birders 'translate' bird songs into mnemonics to help them remember which bird is singing a particular song. We've made a ... more