Juvenile Barred Owl
Photography by Curtis and Norma Beaird
Article by Norma Beaird
We were driving down a country road in rural Georgia when we saw something standing in the road. As we got closer, we realized that it was an owl, and a very young owl. We grabbed our camera, turned around and drove back to get a closer look. About that time, a pickup truck came barreling down the road a little too fast and the gust of wind from the truck knocked the little owl backwards. We were worried that he was hurt, but he bounced right back up.
"Oh boy, here we go.....they're getting closer, they have a camera, and why is that lady talking baby-talk to me? People, they are so strange!"
We moved our jeep to his side of the road, hoping that he would move so that he wouldn't be hit by a car. While we were encouraging him to move, this adorable juvenile Barred Owl posed for a few pictures.
We don't always see the backside of birds, but this juvenile Barred Owl is even handsome from this angle. He finally hopped over to some trees and disappeared into the woods.
Their voice is the most characteristic of all the owls. The loud, hooting, rhythmic, laughing call is heard mostly in spring but also throughout the year: "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?" They are frequently called "Old Eight Hooter".
They are an uncommon permanent breeding resident statewide in Georgia. Barred Owls are usually most active between midnight and 4:00 a.m., when the forest floor rustles with the movement of mice, cotton rats and shrews.
(Source: Birds of Georgia by Parrish, Beaton & Kennedy)
Copyright 2015, Curtis and Norma Beaird. All rights reserved.