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Barred Owls Frequenting Feeders

4-4-14  barred owl with suet IMG_5432The number of Barred Owls seen near bird feeders recently makes one question whether these birds are, in fact, in dire need of food. Certainly the extended period of deep snow this winter has made finding prey challenging. Fortunately, the local bird rehab center (Vermont Institute of Natural Science) has not been inundated with starving owls, which indicates that other factors may be involved in the increased number of sightings near homes and feeders. One of these factors could be that Barred Owls are currently laying and incubating eggs, and a few early nesters may even be providing food for young owlets. Whatever the reason, the accessibility of rodents that are attracted to feeders and the food itself that’s in the feeders allows us an all-too-rare glimpse of this common owl. (The mystery of repeatedly finding my suet feeder on the ground every morning was finally solved when I took this photograph – look closely at what the Barred Owl is clutching in its talons.)

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15 responses

  1. Bill On The Hill...

    Barred owls are awesome! I have had a mating pair around my house for better than 10 years now. I heard one sound off just the other night in fact & I was inside the house.
    Often times I will hear them in stereo at a great distance apart from one another & then slowly one of them gets closer & louder & eventually both of them start hooing & hawing together.
    Great shot Mary, I’m guessing a shredded mouse & or some suet? BF…

    March 31, 2014 at 12:43 pm

  2. Cairn

    Yes every morning the suet is gone and the feeder under the bushes! Now I know,thanks,

    March 31, 2014 at 12:49 pm

  3. Marilyn

    From inside the house I heard barred owls recently; most times the wind is louder!

    March 31, 2014 at 1:09 pm

  4. Jim Moul

    Mary. After sending you the pics the other day of the barred owl I also started wondering if something else was in play. It looked like a very healthy robust bird and never seemed desperate. Then my wife asked if they were nesting yet and the light bulb went on. After all, what better place to find mice and voles than under a birdfeeder. Jim Moul

    Sent from planet earth


    March 31, 2014 at 1:10 pm

  5. Debra Kraemer

    Fabulous photo! Gorgeous owl!
    Wondering what kind of camera you use & what lens….. Thanks,

    March 31, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    • This photograph was taken with a Canon 7D, Debra. I currently use a Canon 5D Mark III – both with a 100-400mm Canon lens.

      March 31, 2014 at 1:31 pm

  6. We had a Barred Owl sitting with us by the fish pond many evenings. How nice! Until we started to miss fish. Everything indicated that the owl was the culprit. We installed a wire dome over the pond which ended the problem of missing fish.

    March 31, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    • Yes, fish and frogs are summer treats!

      March 31, 2014 at 2:53 pm

  7. Pat

    Ditto for my suet feeders! I finally took them in. Maybe I’ll put the remains out along with my trail camera and see who shows up.

    March 31, 2014 at 5:13 pm

  8. What a beautiful bird! Great photo. I saw one at my feeder one night waiting for the voles to show up.

    March 31, 2014 at 7:39 pm

  9. Loretta Tolwinski

    Interesting! Did I tell you we had a whole herd (flock?) of huge wild turkeys running across the back yard this weekend?

    March 31, 2014 at 10:51 pm

  10. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website.

    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to
    come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your
    theme? Superb work!

    May 21, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    • Thank you so much. I cannot take any credit for the design…the editor of my book, Naturally Curious, did it. I believe WordPress gives you several options for layout and she chose this one. I’m so glad you find it appealing. Mary

      May 21, 2014 at 4:40 pm

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