NFR Owls in the backyard; ID?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by circlespey, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. Well, maybe this is semi-fishing related since I see owls on the rivers too.

    These two (see photos) have taken up residence in and around my backyard, screeching and howling much of the night and often sitting on my sport court fencing. We've also found some lovely disemboweled rodents on the grass which I'm sure is not a coincidence.

    They have let me get quite close to them for photos and have watched my sons play on our court in the dusk as well, so they aren't very afraid of us and I wonder if they might be juveniles with some curiousity. They also have some size to them, maybe on the order of a smaller hawk. My best guess is that they are 18 inches tall.

    Any idea on the type of owl? I can ID fish and the occasional bald eagle (also nesting across the street) but not these guys. My kids are very curious as to the type. The yellow beaks and yellow claws really stand out.

    Attached Files:

  2. No expert, barred owl is my call. Nice photos.
    FinLuver likes this.
  3. Im going with juvenilled barred owl.
  4. That's awesome. hardly an owl expert but my guess would be a Barred Owl. I think owls are really interesting birds.
  5. Hah, well that settles it then. Three votes on WFF counts as undisputed fact!
    FinLuver and David Dalan like this.
  6. Barred owl.
    Their call sounds like
    "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?"
  7. Upward inflection on "you all"
  8. Aren't barred owls the ones who are invading the territory and competing with the spotted owls?
    FinLuver likes this.
  9. Neat. Where in Seattle do you live?
  10. I think they are great grey owls if you look at the pics of barred owls the area around the eyes in not round but the ones in the photo are... also the barred owl has brown streaks down it's chest not horizontal bars.. at least according to the pics on google

    that's my guess but i could be totally wrong they do however definitely look juvenile
  11. Awesome replies. I saw some of those photos, etc. before. I was guessing spotted owl based on the coloring but I really have no idea personally.

    Based on your feedback these sound more like barred owls, but these guys don't have the vertical feathers that the barred owls have, and their cry is just one long screech so it doesn't sound like the examples? Again, they could just be juveniles. I am listening to them right now out my window...

  12. Great grey owls have yellow eyes.
  13. Your kid doesn't happen to have round glasses and a thunderbolt scar on his forehead by any chance?
  14. There was a theory that spotted owls were not a distinct species, and that they were simply an evolutionary phase. There was some discussion that spotted owls were not all that discriminatory, and that they would procreate with barred owls producing what were called "sparred owls", which gave rise to the aforementioned theory. I don't know any more than I heard the discussion among folks who should know. These do appear to be barred owls - Google can't be wrong, can it?
  15. I was told once that Barred owls are not native to western WA- and moved west as deforestation created more favorable nesting habitat for them ( secondary growth forest) They initially moved East from the Spokane area and moved west.
    Spotted owls are a closely allied species preferring old growth nesting habitat
    Interbreeding is possible, just like it is with species so closely related

    I'll have to do some fact checking to see if memory serves me correctly
  16. I'm going with barred owl. They are quite talkative with hooting and also what sounds like barking. And, yes, these owls are agressive and have forced spotted owl, and other owls, out of areas. They have actually discussed shooting them. We used to have screech and great horned owls in the yard then the barred came in and pretty much drove them out.


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