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Bird of the Week: Barred Owl

As you walk through a swampy forest, you may hear an odd question echoing through the trees. “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for y’aaaall?” Start thinking about that snack you’ve been carrying around or start looking for an owl that’s slightly smaller than a Great Horned Owl. If you listen carefully, the Barred Owl can be heard before the sun sets. If it’s a good territory, you may be able to visit that spot again and again to hear it. Barred Owls have been known to stay within six miles of their territory throughout their life. Visit some of your Metroparks, like Stony Creek Metropark and Kensington Metropark, to hear these resident owls. If you get the chance to see a Barred Owl roosting, it may look at you through haunting eyes that look completely black. Its light colored belly is covered by brown vertical stripes, or bars, and has a lacy collar of brown horizontal bars. The body of this bird has a brown, barred, polka-dot look. The Barred Owl’s look and sound come together to help you remember this unique owl. If a Barred owl worked in a bar, he would be asking you “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for y’aaaall?”

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