Aurora-Barred Owl


Barred Owl (Strix varias)

Aurora was first admitted to the Medina Raptor Center as a first year bird with West Nile Virus in October 2002. She recovered and was released in April 2005. After three weeks, Aurora was once more re-admitted to the Center after being hit by a car in Medina County, suffering head trauma that impaired her vision considerably. She now is a permanent resident of the Center and a beautiful educational ambassador and shares her enclosure with Boris.



About Barred Owls

(Information taken from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

A large owl of extensive woodlands, the Barred Owl is familiar for its distinctive “who-cooks-for-you, who-cooks-for-you-all” hooting.

  • Size: 43-50 cm (17-20 in)
  • Wingspan: 99-110 cm (39-43 in)
  • Weight: 470-1050 g (16.59-37.07 ounces)
  • Large owl.
  • Head round with no ear tufts.
  • Eyes dark.
  • Underparts whitish with dark streaks.
  • Back gray-brown.
  • Wings with dirty white barring.
  • Ruff of feathers across upper breast barred.
  • Bill dull yellow.
Sex Differences

Sexes alike in plumage, female larger.


Looks similar to adults.


Small mammals, rabbits, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates.

Summer Range:

Widespread resident east of Great Plains from southern Canada to the Gulf Coast and Florida. Also from southeastern Alaska southward to northern California and Idaho, and across central Canada. Disjunct populations in southern Mexico.

  • Forested areas, from swamps and riparian areas to uplands.
  • Prefers large blocks of forest

Wades in water to catch crayfish.

Nest Type:

Builds in cavities in deciduous trees or uses open nest made by hawk or crow. Also uses nest boxes.

Egg Description:

Pure white

Clutch Size:

Usually 1-5 eggs

Condition at Hatching:

Helpless, eyes closed, covered in white down

Conservation Status

Increased greatly with historical deforestation of North America. No significant trend across North America, but some local increases and decreases.


Resonant series of eight or nine hoots, “hoo-hoo-to-hoo, hoo-hoo-to-hoo-aw.” Also raucous jumble of cackles, hoots, caws, and gurgles.