back to homepage  

back to Birds mainpage


  Barred Owl  
  (Strix varia)  

Barred Owl.jpg


The Barred Owl is a common Owl in Quebec, most famous for its distinctive nighttime song "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?" The Barred Owl nests in natural cavities found in mature woodlands, and is well adapted to hunting small mammals such as the deer mouse. One adaptation is that its eyes are 100 times more sensitive than the human eye. As a result, this species can effectively hunt in what we would consider to be total darkness. Not only does this species have incredible power of sight, but it can also capture prey in the total dark based on sound alone. How is this done? The ears of the Barred Owl are "staggered" on its head. Thus, sound strikes each ear differently, and the Barred Owl uses these differences to accurately locate the position of its prey. This feature is crucial to survival of the Barred Owl in winter, when the Barred Owl must capture small mammals moving underneath a snow cover.

  Distribution of the Barred Owl in Quebec:  
  distribution map.gif  


previous bird  

next bird