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A Couple of Owls

A barred owl
Peter K Burian
/
Wikimedia Commons
A barred owl

A listener near Charleston spots two barred owls - one adult and one fledgling...

The barred owl (Strix varia), also known as the northern barred owl, striped owl or, more informally, hoot owl, is a North American large species of owl. A member of the true owl family, Strigidae, they belong to the genus Strix, which is also the origin of the family's name under Linnaean taxonomy Barred owls are largely native to eastern North America, but have expanded their range to the west coast of North America where they are considered invasive. Mature forests are their preferred habitat, but they can also acclimate to various gradients of open woodlands. Their diet consists mainly of small mammals, but this species is an opportunistic predator and is known to prey upon other small vertebrates such as birds, reptiles, and amphibians, as well as a variety of invertebrates.

Barred owls are brown to gray overall, with dark striping on the underside.

Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.