Squad was treated to a special encounter indeed. We stood just beneath a lovely barred owl for a good long time as it quietly looked at us, turning its head occasionally and even yawning. Its majesty was felt by everyone and we counted ourselves very lucky. Regular Pritchard Island Beach volunteers and Forest Stewards (Green Seattle Partnership) saw the owl previously and led us back into the woods hoping to share the good fortune. We thank them!
Unfortunately our endangered snowy owls are struggling to compete with the recent introduction of these barred owls, who have migrated from the Eastern US, likely due to human alteration of the landscape. Currently officials are culling barred owls in order to better help various threatened species, read more about the issue here.
The owl says: hoo-hoo-hoo, hoo, hoo-hoohoo-hoo-a-aw. Given in words: “who-cooks-for-you, who-cooksfor-you-a-all,” ending with a descending note.