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Barred Owl

Scientific Name: Strix varia

Species Ambassadors:

Black Bart

Black Bart was brought to Blandford Nature Center after being hit by a car in Marne, MI in 2010. Due to the car accident he is blind in his right eye, and has permanent brain damage. With these injuries he is unable to hunt and survive in the wild.



Baby came to Blandford in 2011. She was abandoned by her parents due to her having juvenile cataracts in both eyes.  While her cataracts have since cleared up, she still does not have 100% vision and has also become dependent upon humans to take care of her. Baby would not be able to survive in the wild.


Status of Barred Owls in Michigan

This species is a year-round resident in Michigan.


The typical Barred Owl call sounds like: “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?”

Click below to hear Barred Owls!

Adult Typical Call:


The Barred Owl prefers densely forested areas with large trees for nesting.  They live mostly on the eastern side of the United States and Canada.  The Barred Owl can live in a variety of habitats as long as there are enough trees and open areas for hunting.


The Barred Owl is a “sit and wait” predator. They will perch on a tree branch and scan the forest understory for any movement of prey.  In Michigan, the preferred food choice is deer mice, but they also eat voles, squirrels, and the occasional amphibian or small bird.

The Role of Barred Owls in Our Ecosystem

Barred Owls help keep nocturnal small mammal populations in check.

Threats to Barred Owls

Currently, there are no threats to Barred Owl populations.  Their numbers have actually been increasing.

Interesting Fact

-The Barred Owl gets its name from the horizontal banding or “barring” pattern around the neck and upper breast area with vertical barring found below.

-The greatest predator of Barred Owls is the Great Horned Owl! 

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