What a hoot–retraction

Okay, okay, I was out again tonight watching my sweet owl family and got a good shot of the bird’s front feathers.  As my friend casually mentioned today at work, he and his wife were researching my pictures (a little closer than I….ahem), and it turns out that  it is in fact a family of Barred owls, hence the dark colored bars running down it’s chest.  The Barred and Spotted owls tend to look identical except for the chest area.  Spotted owls stay mainly Pacific NW, but the Barred owls have been known to fly out and have a weekend rendevouz, shall we say, with the Spotted owls.  They really are quite amazing.

This particular family likes to call to each other with a “nails-down-the-chalkboard” screeching sound.  I have not heard them make any other noise than that.  No “hoo hoo”, or bark, or caw, or “who-cooks-for-you” sounds, just the light screech.  I have yet to see the nest area or any sign of babies, just the one couple who seem just as interested in me as I am in them.  They do not seem disturbed by my presence, so I will continue to keep watch on my weekly hikes.

That’s it for now and let me know if any of you have some fun owl facts to share!


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