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Barred Owl Strix varia

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Barred Owl (length 53.5 cm) is a large, yellow-billed and dark-eyed owl that lacks ear tufts. It has a barred breast and vertical streaks below. The plumage of both sexes is alike. The Mexican subspecies Strix varia sartorii, known from at least 10 Mexican states, inhabits humid to drier montane forests. It is found along both slopes from central to southern Mexico at elevations of 1500 to 2500 m. In all likelihood, it is a different species than the widespread northern form in Canada and the United States. Barred Owl is about 5 cm longer than the Spotted Owl with which it may occur—the more so as its range expands in certain locations. In pine-oak and conifer forests where they overlap, the larger Barred Owl may be competitively superior. Vocalizations of Barred Owls living in central Mexico are poorly documented; no recordings are available on either of the large online depositories of bird vocalizations. Those included here are from the northern subspecies group. Additionally, the southern limits of this form (or species) are in dispute as some authors lump it with the similar Fulvous Owl.

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© Thomas G. Sander

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Barred Owl (Strix varia), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/brdowl