An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Barred Owls Courting

2-11 barred owl 057Barred Owls call year-round but their vocalizations increase and expand in February when courtship begins. No longer are their calls limited to their year-round “who-cooks-for-you — who-cooks-for-you-all.” Males and females engage in “duets,” as well as many other vocalizations, including cackles, hoots, caws and gurgles. Those who sleep with open windows may feel like they are in the middle of a jungle inhabited by hundreds of raucous monkeys.

Barred Owl courtship is not strictly vocal. Male Barred Owls display by swaying back and forth and raising their wings, while sidling along a branch in close proximity to a female. Courtship feeding and mutual preening also occur prior to copulation. The nights of February are filled with amorous avian calls and gestures.

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6 responses

  1. With it being so frigid, I’ve not opened the windows in a while but I will listen for them – I know they are in our woods. I love hearing their calls.

    February 11, 2015 at 9:55 am

  2. Diane

    Too cold here for open windows but I have gone out after dark to listen, no luck.

    February 11, 2015 at 9:59 am

  3. I would give my right eyetooth to wake up to this some night! We do sleep with a window open(and lots of blankets)so will pay close attention!

    February 11, 2015 at 10:54 am

  4. scottabzu

    A stunningly beautiful barred owl flew out from the trees and almost became one with my windshield last weekend (in the afternoon, no less) on Rt 103 in Clarendon. Thankfully, I was able to avoid it. Beautiful sighting, though. Those wings were fantastic.

    February 12, 2015 at 7:35 am

  5. Kathie Fiveash

    Mary, have you and your many readers seen this slow motion video of an eagle owl flying? If not, take a look:

    February 12, 2015 at 8:00 pm

  6. Jennifer Z. Woodard

    Can we hear them here?

    Carpe diem, Jennifer

    >

    February 27, 2015 at 6:33 am

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