There is nothing more unmistakable than the sighting or sounds of one of our native owls here in the Ottawa area. The sight or sound of one undoubtedly sends immediate feelings of excitement and with good reason, they are a treat to behold.

One such species that is quite common here in the Ottawa area is the Barred Owl. Among the larger of the owl species native to our area, they can be tricky to identify when compared to the great gray owl.  While similar in shape and size (great gray owls are slightly larger), they also shared a number of common markings that can make quick identification a challenge.

If you’ve spotted a large owl with the mottled brown streaks characteristic of these raptors, look immediately to the eyes for your answer for identification.

Our barred owls have dark brown eyes while their distant cousin gray owls sport a very distinct yellow eye colour which, given the right viewing opportunity, can make identification much easier.

 

Installing Barred Owl Nesting Boxes

As with most of our wildlife and birds here in North America, habitat loss is an issue we can no longer ignore. As such, those of you that know us, know that we are massive proponents of creating and maintaining natural habitat around our neighbourhoods and right in our own backyards.

One such way to do that is to install nesting boxes and right now is the perfect time of year to get them hung for our barred owls. These birds are among some of the earliest nesting species and begin the process during the winter months and quite frankly, hanging them up before the snow flies is a much easier process.

Perhaps the most interesting and intriguing part about the barred owl’s nesting process is that once used, these nesting boxes will be passed down from generation to generation within the original owl’s family. Meaning, the young that were born the previous year will return to the same box to begin the process all over again!

barred-owl-perched

Our specially designed barred owl nesting boxes are created from reclaimed materials with a large enough hole to allow for the size of barred owls. Additionally, these boxes contain side doors for easy cleaning and maintenance and feature a steel mesh lining on the inside of the box to allow owlets to safely climb out when the time is right.

We always recommend installing a large perch on the outside of the box as this creates not only a more natural environment for the nesting process but also allows the parents to safely monitor and train their owlets as they learn to hop, perch and eventually fly.

We manufacturer nesting boxes for wrens, eastern bluebirds, wood ducks, American kestrels and of course, owls. 

These boxes are relatively easy to install by a couple of people but as with everything else, we are always available for help, advice and an extra set of hands for installation – just let us know and order yours today!