A Barred Owl perches in a large Maple Tree to consume its prey.
This Owl has been hanging around in one of my friend’s yards and was first noticed hanging off of one of her bird aviaries. The owl appears smaller than other Barred Owls I have seen and it is my thought that this one is likely a fledgling from this year. Once a fledgling grows in its adult plumage you can’t tell the difference between them and an adult.
Barred owls are often out at night, dawn or dusk, but can be seen during the day. When hunting, they usually perch in a tree and watch and listen for prey. Once they spot the prey, they swoop down and grab it with their talons. Their toes are special, as two face forward and two go back. This helps the Barred Owl get a good grip on its prey. If they prefer, they can turn a back toe forward. This likely helps them while perched on a tree. Barred owls (like all owls) are carnivores (meat-eaters). They hunt squirrels, mice, rats, foxes, rabbits, bats, small birds, other owls, snakes, lizards, fish, fiddler crabs, and bugs. Since they eat the whole animal (except for the wings of birds), they swallow a lot of fur and bones they can’t digest. Owls will regurgitate (re-gir-ji-tate) or vomit pellets of fur and bones. If you find a pile of little furry balls under a tree, you have found an owl’s perch tree or eating spot. If you pick the pellet apart, you can see the tiny bones and fur of the animals it has eaten. Barred owls tend to perch on trees which have small branches and moss to hide and camouflage them. In flight they flap their wings rather than soaring like a vulture. This is because they have special soft feathers. Soft feathers are quiet, which helps the owl to sneak up on their prey animals. Soft feathers are not very good at catching the wind, so they have to work hard to fly. The owl is a good hunter, but he can’t rest and soar.
Photo taken on Nov 1/09 at 1:42 pm in the Duncan area ( South east Vancouver Island) B.C., Canada.
Taken in raw, adobe RGB and aperture priority.
Camera; Canon 40D
Lens; Canon EF-100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM lens.
Tripod; Manfrotto and joystick head.
Taken at 1/100’sec, f/5.6, 400mm, man col bal 6100 kelvin, iso 800.
Histogram adjustment and sharpening using layers. No cropping.