Bird is the Word

Barred Owl in Eliot

The spotted owl has been a flash point for forest management in Oregon for decades, but how many of us have actually seen one, or its nemesis, the barred owl? I haven’t, and I grew up in a logging community.

My impression was that the spotted owl was a small, reclusive bird that was easily intimidated by habitat change and being driven from its normal range by the much larger barred owls invading from the east. Imagine my surprise when my daughter claimed to have seen a large owl in her backyard on Russell by MLK last October.

Shortly thereafter, I saw a crowd in the middle of Thompson by NE 11th staring in the air at a large owl. I was able to return with my camera and took this picture. It was a barred owl, which I found out is about 16 inches tall – similar to the spotted owl, so not small at all.