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Species: Strix varia, Barred Owl   •   Born: Unknown     •   Gender: Male   •   Disability: West Nile Virus

Forrest arrived at the AEF’s rehabilitation center in November 2017. He had a plethora of issues, most notably he was suffering from West Nile Virus. Forrest spent a significant amount of time resting in rehab, but unfortunately, he never improved enough to be released. Forrest arrived as an adult bird and his age is unknown.

While we initially intended to seek a new home for Forrest, he did much better with his training than the staff initially expected. While he is a nervous owl and takes time to adjust to new situations and circumstances, he eats his food on the glove or by hand every day and he continues to become more comfortable with the people closest to him. The staff is curious and excited to see how far he will go as a parent-reared owl!

ABOUT THIS SPECIES

The Barred Owl is named after the barred, feathers marked with transverse bands of distinctive color, feather patterns on its chest. They can live to be 40 years old in captivity and about half that age in the wild. Barred Owls prefer large, heavily forested areas and low-lying swamps and creek beds where they can dine on mice, chipmunks, birds, and amphibians.

You can tell whether a bird hunts more during the night or during the day by the color of its eyes. The eyes of the Barred Owl are very dark, indicating they hunt almost entirely at night.

HEAR THE SOUND OF A BARRED OWL

Audubon.org

RAISING A FAMILY OF BARRED OWLS

(video from Cornell Lab of Ornithology, July 22, 2018)

WATCH A VIDEO

(Video is defaulted to “mute” … so be sure to mouse over the bottom right to turn sound on!)

Barred Owl “Lockett” from Raptor Rehabilitation of Kentucky.

Furthermore, Raptor Rehabilators of Kentucky goes on to say, “The Barred Owl makes more different kinds of calls than any other owl in North America. The most common call sounds like “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you allll?” Others sound like whistling, baying hounds, barking dogs, a human screaming in agony, cackling, yells and maniacal laughter.”