The Barred Owl (Strix varia) is a large, all gray to grayish-brown bird (from 17 to 24 inches) that inhabits river woodlands. The wingspan is approximately 44 inches. It is common in southern swamps, less common but widespread in northern woods. Found mostly in the Eastern half of the United States, this owl's range extends across southern Canada and into the Pacific Northwest where there is some concern that it will compete with the endangered Spotted Owl.Its diet consists of mice, frogs, squirrels, rabbits and similar small prey. It has been known to include its smaller cousin, the screech owl, in its diet. Nesting preference is the cavity of a tree or the abandoned nest of a hawk or crow. There it will produce from two to three white eggs.
The pattern of this owl is barred crosswise on the chest and streaked lengthwise on the belly, with a white spotted back.The eyes are large and brown. It has a yellow beak and no head tufts. Its call is distinctive, a series of eight loud hoots delivered in a series of four: hoohoo, hoohoo, hoohoo, hoohoooaw. Some claim the call sounds like, "Who cooks for you; who cooks for you all."Though nocturnal, the Barred Owl frequently calls during the day.