Dean M. Chriss
Barred Owl at Sunrise
(Click image to enlarge)
I happened upon this barred owl (Strix varia) one morning at sunrise.
The highlights seen in the owl's eyes are actually the reflected image of the
sun on the horizon. The barred owl
is common in the eastern United States but is sometimes found across Canada and
in the Pacific Northwest where it competes with the similar looking but
endangered spotted owl. The Barred Owl is the only owl in the eastern United
States that has dark brown eyes. Adult Barred Owls are 16–25 inches (40–63 cm) long
with a 38–49 inches (96–125 cm) wingspan. They are most often found in deciduous or
mixed woods in the southeast but in the north they may be found in mature
coniferous trees. They favor dense woods with scattered clearings, especially
those in low-lying and swampy areas.