Barred Owl (Strix varia)

19 March

THIS is the owl that makes the stereotypical owl call “too-whit too-woo” also translitereated as “who cooks for you”. A regular resident of the arboretum I frequent just down the road. Almost exclusively nocturnal but can with luck be seen like this one during the daylight hours sitting up a tree minding its own business. When I say “almost” nocturnal there are exceptions such a few years ago when joint leader of a guided birding walk we found one mid-morning a bit above head height beside the forest trail happily dis-assenbling a squirrel that it had caught and swalling warm chinks of meat – we didn’t worry him at all. Commonly nest in existing tree cavities high above ground.