It’s considered to be a common owl of the eastern United States. But there aren’t really all that many of them. As a carnivore of rodents and birds, the barred owl needs a sizable territory and a suitable habitat for roosting and nesting, such as Pocahontas, with almost 8000 acres and a variety of forest ecosystems. If you get lucky, you may hear one or a pair calling briefly in the afternoon, as I have along the Bright Hope Trail. Our expression “that’s a hoot” might come from listening to barred owls, as their vocalization can be quite amusing. This photo shows the pine stand where one of the owls was hiding, but I was unable to pick out its roosting place in the trees.
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Thoughts on the park, its residents and how to preserve its natural beauty.