For the past month, every time we go to Crews Lake Park for a night walk, we’ve seen and heard a pair of juvenile barred owls hanging around Pavilion 2. We first heard them calling to each other and found one of them at the top of a live oak tree. The call is a soft whistle.
Barred owls eat a wide variety of small animals, such as squirrels, mice, voles, rabbits, other birds, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates. They hunt by peering down from the tree tops and swooping down to capture prey. They may also wade into the water to catch the small critters there.
Their biggest predator is the great horned owl, who eats their eggs, babies, and sometimes the adults. Other predators such as weasels and raccoons raid their nests, too, and they are very territorial, chasing away intruders by hooting and flapping at them.
Check out the barred owl cam! This year’s babies are getting pretty big. Edit (5/10/19): The babies have fledged! There’s nothing to look at now.