Barred Owl

Photo by Bob Gress


Common Name: Barred Owl

Scientific Name: Strix varia


Length: 19 - 20 inches
Wingspread: 42 - 44 inches
Weight: 14 - 18 ounces


Comments: Barred owls are found in deep deciduous woodlands, commonly along river valleys. Their distinctive “who cooks for you, who cooks for you all” call is heard more often than the birds are seen. When several birds are vocal, they can provide an entertaining chorus of calls accompanied by cackling and barking. The barred owl, along with the barn owl, are the only dark-eyed owls found in Kansas. They normally nest in tree cavities but will sometimes use large stick nests built in previous years by hawks or crows.

Distribution: In Kansas, barred owls are found throughout the year and occur primarily in the eastern third of the state. They are found erratically further west.

Food: The bulk of this owl’s diet consists of rats and mice but it will also eat a wide variety of other animals, including birds, fish, insects, snakes, turtles and crayfish.