Barred Owl Nesting: Everything You Need to Know!

  • Reading time:11 mins read
  • Post last modified:April 25, 2022

Barred Owl Perching on tree branch

Strix varia, the barred owl, is a skilled hunter, catching voles, mice, reptiles, birds, and even small mammals and bringing them back to their nests to feed their young. However, where does a barred owl find refuge? What is the location of their nest? And how many little beaks do they have to look after each day?

You can find all of this information and more in this comprehensive reference to barred owl nesting practises. Barred owls like to nest in trees that are 20-40 feet in height, and they will choose a suitable natural cavity in a tree that is 20-40 feet in height.

They will also make use of stick platform nests that have been built by other birds as well as human-made nest boxes. As we’ll see throughout this piece, these owls have some extremely intriguing tendencies when it comes to nesting.

They are opportunistic in their nesting practices, as are many owls, yet they are also careful at the same time. It is possible for barred owls to keep an eye on a potential nesting location for up to a year before deciding to make it their home.

Because they only have one brood per year, the nesting place must be absolutely perfect and safe. They check to make sure that a previous nesting place is no longer in use and keep an eye out for any prospective predators that might try to take their eggs away.

Where Do Barred Owls Build Their Nests?

Barred owls prefer to build their nests high in the trees. Most of the time, they will discover a huge cavity in a tree that is 20-40 feet tall. However, it has been reported that they have used the nests of other bird species as well.

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It is quite acceptable for them to use the stick platform nest that hawks, crows, and ravens create for themselves. Barred Owls, on the other hand, are not known to construct their own nests. In lieu of this, they prefer to find a hole or cavity in a tree to hide in.

Barred Owl in his nest with baby Barred Owl

What Kinds Of Trees Do Barred Owls Choose To Build Their Nests In?

Barred Owls prefer to build their nests in trees such as cedar, fir, spruce, and pine. These owls can be found in large numbers in old-growth forests.

This is due to the fact that they like to nest in huge cavities in trees, and older trees have more naturally occurring holes in them. They like a tree with a lot of dense foliage so that they can shelter themselves and their young ones.

When Do Barred Owls Build Their Nests And At What Time Of Year?

Despite the fact that barred owls flirt all year long, the true courtship season begins in February. Breeding occurs anywhere between the months of March and August. The owls will then search for a suitable location to build a nest for their young.

Owl eating snake in his nest

How Long Do Barred Owls Stay In Their Nests?

Barred owls will stay in their nests for as long as it takes for the babies to grow up and leave to find new territories. Barred owls will typically care for their young for around 4 months, which is longer than many of the owls.

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After this, the baby is fully grown, has acquired its adult feathers, and is ready to fly away and begin a new life somewhere else in the world. The parents will depart the nest the following year, although they may return the following year. 

What Method Do Barred Owls Use To Construct Their Nests?

Barred owls, like many other types of owls, are not known for building nests. A natural cavity in a tree, for example, will be found and used as a nesting site by the owls instead. If there is anything on the nest’s floor, it is most likely just owl faeces and droppings.

They will gladly take over nests from other birds and use them as their own as well. As a result, if you observe a barred owl in a nest, it is likely that they did not build it; they are simply renting it for the duration of the breeding season.

When Do Baby Barred Owls Leave Their Nests?

Despite the fact that they are only 35-40 days old, baby barred owls leave the nest and remain with their parents until they are 4 months old. Barred owls provide care for their young for a significantly longer period of time than most other owls.

But when the baby has been raised for four months, it will resemble an adult, will be able to hunt and survive on its own, and will venture out in search of its own hunting zone.

Barred Owl

Barred Owls Have How Many Broods?

Barred owls only have one brood each year and lay between one and five eggs every brood – with the average number of eggs being between two and three – in each clutch. However, if they lose a young brood, they will be able to produce more eggs.

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For the sake of completeness, they may even lay a third brood that year. The fact that barred owls only produce one brood every year is due to the fact that they spend a significant amount of time caring for their young.

Barred owls care for their young for approximately four months, which is a longer period of time than most other owls.

Do Barred Owls Build Their Nests In The Same Location Year After Year?

Barred owls will return to the same breeding habitat year after year, and they will also nest in the same location. They may or may not use the same nest, depending on the circumstances.

When it comes to nesting, barred owls are generally fairly opportunistic, and they may frequently seek out a pre-built nest from a separate bird species. If the nest is once again in use, they will look for a more suitable nest somewhere else.

What Does The Egg Of A Barred Owl Look Like?

Barred owls lay enormous oval eggs that are typically 50mm x 43mm in size and weigh 45g on average. Barred owls are known for laying large oval eggs. They are white in color with a rough, granular feel.

Is It Possible For Barred Owls To Nest In A Box?

Barred owls will happily build a nest in a box. As with many others, these owls will nest almost anyplace as long as they are not required to construct the nest themselves. The location of the barred owl nest box, on the other hand, is quite crucial.

Because they love to build their nests high in trees, you’ll need to position it at least 20 feet above the ground. While it is possible to purchase a barred owl nest box, many people prefer to build their own to guarantee that the owls have enough of area to build their nest.

Barred owls will frequently keep an eye on potential nesting sites for up to a year before deciding to make their home there.

Do not be disheartened if you decide to put up a barred owl nest but do not receive many visitors to it. The owls are careful when it comes to nesting, and they may not use it the next year.

What Is The Size Of A Barred Owl’s Nest Box?

Barred owls want to have a lot of space in their nests, which is why they are so large. A typical barred owl nesting box is around 24 inches tall with an entry hole that is 7-12 inches in diameter.

In total, the floor surface measures around 13 by 13 inches, with a few inches of wood chips on top to keep the eggs safe. While there are certain barred owl boxes that may be purchased, many people choose to build their own.

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