What kind of owl is this?

Ok, so the purpose of this post is to show off a great owl picture I was lucky enough to take a few days ago, since over a dozen people positively identified it. Still, I thought it would be interesting to ask you all to let me know what you think it is. FYI, it was taken on a very rainy October 14 in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC.

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11 responses to “What kind of owl is this?

  1. I’m going to slide my chips over onto “Spotted Owl”.

  2. That would indeed have been a fantastic find, since the Spotted Owl is on the way to being extirpated in these parts by human activity (especially logging of old growth forests) and its more aggressive cousin (pictured here). The shape of the “spots” on the breast are the main clue to look for…

  3. OK, humble pie eating time! I just went back to my only “Western Species” book (which isn’t that great) and read what it ACTUALLY said (not what I thought it said). The book has a nasty habit of showing other species on the same page for comparison (but not clearly saying “this is not what the species title indicates”). So, as you kindly let me have another go (after all my chips were lost), it’s a bedraggled Barred Owl (which is somewhat obvious given it looks like one!) I guess I was expecting it to be very obscure and just went directly to the books! I feel especially dumb as I encountered one two days ago, just down the road! Maybe it’s late over here on the East-coast?

  4. Well, I will let you take your chips, especially since the seeing a Spotted Owl would be most definitely awesome for me, as that would be a lifer (and is getting less common as time goes on).

  5. Man, sweet photo! I’d kill to get a chance to take a pic like that!
    I mostly hear barred owls, not see them, but hearing can be a thrill in itself. Esp. at their most maniacal…

  6. Beautiful photo! I have never seen any owl in the wild yet. Just last week I heard a Barred in the woods behind my house. I thought it odd because it was in the afternoon and I have never heard any owls during the day. I tried to track it but could not find it.

  7. The Barred Owl is at the top of my “must see” list for 2012… Husband and youngest saw one recently, but no such luck here; no fair. 😕 I second Diane’s sentiments; what a photo op! It’s a spectacular catch, Pierre!!

    As for hearing a Barred Owl during the day, I seem to recall recently learning that they are one of the few owls that will hunt during the day or night. I could be mistaken, but that was my understanding and it’s why I am always on the lookout for them when I am on birding trips where they may turn up. 🙂

  8. Definitely a Barred Owl and a great pix, Pierre. Yes, they do hunt during the day, Jenn, so keep on looking. We have them around the yard here in NS and it’s always nice to hear them calling, but that’s always been during the night. This summer at dusk, I heard Robins and Hairy Woodpeckers making quite a racket, similar to what Blue Jays do when prey is around. Since it was odd to hear these birds calling out repeatedly, I searched the woods around our home, located the birds and the reason for the commotion…a Barred Owl. I watched as the Robins and Woodpeckers mobbed the Owl until it finally left. This happened more than once this past summer. Clearly, the Owl was not welcome around our yard.

  9. Yes, I made a real idiot of myself last night, didn’t I! Oh well, I don’t mind. Anyway, now we’re all talking about the same bird (i.e. Barred Owls!) I can add that I only ever hear them during the day! I actually watched a pair mating not so long ago (they were more interested in each other than me underneath them – well, who wouldn’t be – wink). Usually though I see them around dusk and that’s the worst possible time for my camera as it’s hopeless in poor light. As I don’t want to shine a bright light in an owl’s face, I have to make do with blurry, grainy shots, but I have several crepuscular images of ‘Strix varia’. None of them are anywhere near as excellent as Pierre’s – well done Sir!

  10. Thanks for the helpfull daylight owl info! I will have to keep my ears and eyes more open for them during the day!

  11. vbella39, I always see them sitting quite low (8-20ft off the ground) and right where the branch or bough comes off the main trunk of the tree. They’re usually not especially spooked by me watching them and I can get reasonably close if I behave in a non-threatening manner. I usually hear them first (often pairs talking to each other) with that classic “Who cooks for you?” call of their’s. I see them just off the main road, path, trail, in trees that often have their trunks in or near shallow water. Bug-spray is required!