Barred for Life


This week’s photo, taken May 3, 2014 in Seattle, WA, features a BARRED OWL, a bird of controversy here in the Northwest.

Biologists have determined that the Barred Owl is having a negative impact on the threatened Spotted Owl, and some studies have shown that where the Barred Owl is expanding its territory, Spotted Owl numbers are dropping. So, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to thin the population of the Barred Owl in certain forests of Northern California, Oregon and Washington, hoping that fewer Barred Owls will result in more Spotted Owls. In other words, they are killing one owl to save another.

For more information on this topic, go to:

For most of us, when we see an owl, it’s an incredible experience that we remember for a long time. (I think that I vividly recall nearly ALL of my owl sightings). Perhaps it’s such a memorable moment for us because owls are such secretive, mysterious creatures, and we simply don’t feel worthy of entering their world.

I am not sure what’s the best way to deal with the decline of the Spotted Owl. But I do know one thing. I will not be calling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to tell them where I photographed a Barred Owl last weekend.

To view Joe’s Best Bird Photos, go to:


About Joe Sweeney

I photograph birds to share the beauty and wonder I find in nature.
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4 Responses to Barred for Life

  1. Sara Dale says:

    Joe- it looks just like the amazing creature I’ve seen twice now in our yard! What a fantastic photo.

    Sara Dale Tulsa, Ok

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Connie Saunders says:

    Joe, We hear the Barred Owl call often during the summer months — it’s such an eerie, wonderful call heard clearly through the night air. One flew right in front of me a few weeks ago while I was out walking around 6:00 am. I’m glad it flew in front of me because I never would have heard it. That’s my second incredibly silent encounter with an owl. They are wonderful creatures. Thanks for the very clear image that I can picture when I hear the Barred Owls calling this summer. Do owls have a “song” or only a “call”?

    Connie Saunders Minneapolis area

  3. Mary Friestedt says:

    Hey Joe, I’m with you. Long love the barred owl !!

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. kathydoremus says:

    They have that look – like they know so much more than what they are choosing to reveal.

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