Barred Owl Sightings Numerous This Winter

Posted on Saturday 26 January 2008


There have been many Barred Owls reported in the Valley and around the state this winter.  One of the Valley Christmas Bird Count teams spotted three on December 14.  The Barred is the most common species of owl in the Valley, but the number being seen during daylight hours is very unusual.  Many residents are reporting seeing them in their neighborhoods or along roadsides.  One has even been hanging out in the middle of Burlington since early January, spotted by James Foreman and others at First Night celebration.

On Friday, January 25, the Vermont Center for Ecostudies devoted much of its weekly Birdbrains report in the Burlington Free Press to the Barred Owl.  According to their report, the food source (small rodents such as mice and voles) of these birds in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence regions has crashed, forcing the birds further south to find prey.  Many of these birds are probably young, stressed to find food, so hunting during the day. 

 Barred Owls will be begin nesting in February, so we will soon be hearing their “Who cooks for you?  Who cooks for you all?” calls.  Enjoy every sighting of these wonderful birds (and be happy they are decreasing our rodent population).

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