When we were on Vancouver Island last week, we kept hearing the sound of an owl… only to realize that it was actually two owls. Then one night we were treated to the owls flying over the yard into the woods. Soon enough we knew where to look for these guys.
There were indeed two of them, what we assume is a mother and baby set. Beautifully sinister, they let us get extremely close, all things considered. I didn’t have my telephoto lens, so I did my best with the wide angle and actually got shots where you can see the owl pretty well. It was one of the (many) highlights of our trip this time around.
This beautiful creature is a Barred Owl. Often mistaken for a Spotted Owl, these birds are native to North America and is one of the most commonly seen owls in our region. Their habitat map is as follows:
These owls are mostly found in heavily forested areas where they feed on small mammals. They nest in trees and they’re fairly abundant. Their main predatory concern is the Great Horned Owl, and while they are known to inhabit the same areas, a Barred Owl will avoid the Great Horned Owl for obvious reasons.
These Owls do not stay with their mates, rather they are solitary creatures which was why it was such a treat for us to see the two together, though never close enough to get a shot with both. Their sound was very screechy, almost like an echo-location, though on the websites that I researched these guys on, they sound more like typical owls in other circumstances.
For more information on the Barred Owl and other bird species, check this out!