Barred Owl

Hello all. Lisa invited me to begin to contribute my photos and love of birds here! I am super excited to share my findings within the city and county with you all. Maybe you’ll enjoy the photos or possibly learn a thing or two about the many amazing species we have here and which ones make short visits to our little spot on Lake Erie. I currently have a life list of 326 species seen in Ohio with 264 of them within Lorain County itself!

With the current pandemic and its subsequent lockdown, even the most popular birding locations and parks are being closed off to the public. Not only does this hamper the most accessible locations for great birding but it denies a lot of the general non-birding public to experience spring migration to its fullest. Which, by the way, is my favorite time of the year by far. Luckily I still know of quite a bit of places where I can find what I’m looking for 😉

Yesterday I went to help a friend find a very rare owl for our area. Sadly we didn’t relocate what we set out to find but ended up spending the end of the day at Findley State Park when we bumped into this amazing Barred Owl. We were very lucky to watch it try to hunt the movement below in the underbrush and then snap a few pics before backing off as to not disturb any further.

Barred Owl, Findley State Park
April 6th, 2020
© Joshua Vardous

Of the eight different owls we typically have within the state, Barred Owl are one of the most commonly seen if not heard. They are the legitimate definition of a ‘hoot owl’ if you’ve ever heard their call and the same can be said about its only natural rival the Great Horned Owl. With nesting season that begins in March, you can usually find them hunting during the daytime near dusk when it is cloudy. But most of the time you can find them snoozing in the sunlight in a hollowed out Sycamore which seems to be one of their preferred roosting spots because they blend in so well in those trees. They do mate for life and will have a single brood once per year of about 2 to 3 young.

When out searching for owls you should be ready to take your time, go slow, and check every hollowed out hole in every tree. I’m sure many of you have walked right past many owls in your life while on a hike and never noticed. They are not easy to find but patience and determination usually wins out. If you are near any old wooded areas keep an ear out late at night and I’m sure you’ll hear an owl or two.

-joshua

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