(Strix varia). Patient Number 21-1724.
Date of admission: November 22, 2021.
Reason for admission: Head trauma, eye injury.
Barred owls are members of the "true owl" family. Their black eyes are excellent for seeing in the dark, helping the owls to spot quick-moving prey running along the forest floor. They are difficult to spot due to their nocturnal natures and effective striped camouflage but can be easily identified when you hear their distinctive "who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?" barking call.
Like other owls, barred owls are carnivorous, and will eat many different sources of meat. Their most common meals are small rodents like mice, voles, and ground squirrels, but barred owls have also been seen hunting rabbits, birds, snakes, salamanders, and even aquatic species like fish and crayfish! Barred owls tend to stick to a smaller territory, which they will defend from most other animals. However, they are shy of great horned owls and will leave the area if one of these birds establishes itself there.
Barred owls prefer living in forested areas, where they will nest in holes made by large woodpeckers, or in nests made by hawks, crows, or magpies. Barred owls will also sometimes nest in human-made nest boxes. These owls mate for life, and both help to care for the offspring. The female barred owl lays 1-5 eggs per clutch, which can take up to 33 days of incubation before they are ready to hatch.
This barred owl was brought to AIWC after being struck by a vehicle. His exam showed some signs of head trauma, along with an injury to his right eye. He is recovering well in care, and thanks to your support we will be able to care for this owl until he is healthy enough to fly free once more!