Worm Moon and the Barred Owls

March 29th, the night of the full Worm Moon, was cloudy with intermittent rain. The full moon peeked through for a short while, and occasionally illuminated thinning rain clouds. Weather conditions added an element of mystery to the duets sung by a pair of nearby Barred Owls. Their songs filled the forest and nearby neighborhood with a big sound consisting of hoots and garbled cackles. Take a listen…

This video was made about 10:00pm-

Sometime before 2:30am, the pair of owls flew from the forest area to the south to a large Oregon Ash tree at the edge of another forest area to the north. Watch closely, just a couple seconds into the video, the shadow of one owl flies from the tree to the left side of the screen. It is soon followed by the second owl. They continued the duet in the adjoining conifer forest. Their unique sounds drifted through the woods well toward morning.

I imagined the next morning that these owls would be very tired and seek out a place to sleep. Never did I imagine I would see them again during the daylight hours. I imagined wrong…

I was lucky to be looking out a window just in time to watch them fly, one following the other, from the south woods area toward north woods next to our house.

I grabbed my camera and ran outside hoping that I would be able to see their destination. I was astonished and pleased to spot them perched near each other on a lower Douglas Fir branch that hung just above the fence at the edge of our property line.

Unfortunately, this photo is a bit fuzzy, however, it’s clear that there are two owls.

Sharing a branch didn’t last long… The owls quickly selected limbs of their own. Then both Barred Owls remained for a long while… seemingly catching some of that rest I imagined they would need after serenading most of the night before. Of course, I took advantage of this photo opportunity.

Move the slider left or right to compare the next two images images

The male Barred Owl is about one-third smaller than the female Barred Owl.
(My photos aren’t exactly scaled, however, you will get the idea.)
Can you tell which one is which?

Portraits of the male Barred Owl-

Portraits of female Barred Owl

Fast Facts

  • Scientific NameStrix varia
  • Common Name: Barred Owl, Hoot Owl, Northern Barred Owl, Swamp Owl, Striped Owl, Eight Hooter, Bard Owl, Hooting Cat of the North
  • Lifespan: 15-20 years
  • Size: 17-24 inches
  • Weight: 22-29 ounces
  • Wingspan: 50-55 inches
  • Conservation Status: Least concern

Worm Moon- one day after full

Oddly, the owls were noticeably quieter on the waning side of the moon…
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