Barred Owls Essay

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Barred Owls (Strix varia) are one of our more common owls. They are very large, up to 20 inches tall, with a wingspan of almost four feet. They are often grayish-brown with crossbars on its chest and neck. Barred Owls don't have ear-tufts like some other owls. They have dark eyes, and a small, hooked bill. Barred Owls have strong, sharp yellow talons on their feet. They nest in a variety of natural and anthropogenic structures, but are considered to be primarily cavity nesters. They use tree cavities created by other birds, disease, rot, and/or tree damage. Living primarily in mature forests and swamps, they nest in tree cavities but sometimes will use abandoned nests. Logging of mature and old-growth forests has been the primary habitat alteration …show more content…

The Barred Owl’s nesting requirements are poorly documented throughout most of its range in North america, and specifically in Manitoba. Across its range, the Barred Owl uses forest types along a gradient from hardwood to mixedwood to softwood forests. Hardwood forests are rare throughout a large portion of its northern range, leaving only mixedwood and mostly boreal forests. The link between large cavity-nesting species and mature stands of mixedwood forests is known. Barred Owl management and conservation by the government in Manitoba and elsewhere will be more effective if we understand which factors create suitable Barred Owl habitat within various mature mixedwood stands. Barred owls arrived in the northwest only about thirty-five or so years ago. They crossed over through Canada, reached the Pacific Ocean and headed south down the Cascade and Coast ranges. In appearance, barred owls differ from spotted owls mainly in their slightly larger size and in having vertically barred breast feathers instead of light spots. In Connecticut and New Hampshire, Barred Owls avoid developed areas. However, there is evidence that Barred Owls are able to sustain human development more readily than other

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