The folks in the Riverwalk Bird Club don't just watch birds. The group includes some excellent photographers.
Nooga.com Outdoors is happy to share their great photos by featuring a Bird of the Week.
This week, we feature a barred owl, taken by Jack Gentle Jr.
The barred owl’s hooting call, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?" is a classic sound of old forests and treed swamps. But this attractive owl, with soulful brown eyes and brown-and-white-striped plumage, can also pass completely unnoticed as it flies noiselessly through the dense canopy or snoozes on a tree limb. Originally a bird of the East, it spread through the Pacific Northwest and southward into California during the 20th century.
—The great horned owl is the most serious predatory threat to the barred owl. Although the two species often live in the same areas, a barred owl will move to another part of its territory when a great horned owl is nearby.
—Pleistocene fossils of barred owls, at least 11,000 years old, have been dug up in Florida, Tennessee and Ontario.
—Barred owls don’t migrate, and they don’t even move around very much. Of 158 birds that were banded and then found later, none had moved farther than 6 miles away.
—Despite their generally sedentary nature, barred owls have recently expanded their range into the Pacific Northwest. There, they are displacing and hybridizing with spotted owls—their slightly smaller, less aggressive cousins—which are already threatened from habitat loss.
—Young barred owls can climb trees by grasping the bark with their bill and talons, flapping their wings and walking their way up the trunk.
—The oldest barred owl on record was at least 24 years old.
This information is courtesy of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
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