Barred Owl Nest in a Natural Hole in an Earthen Bank in Eastern Texas
The barred owl (Strix varia) typically nests in old stick nests constructed by hawks, crows, or squirrels, but also in tree cavities (A.C. Bent 1938, Life histories of North American birds of prey, Part II, U.S. Natl. Mus., Washington, DC U.S.A.; P.A. Johnsgard 1988, North American owls, Smithsonian Inst. Press, Washington DC U.S.A.). A few records of nesting sites used by this owl depart from the usual. For example, there is an account of a nest on the ground in a small hollow dug by a barred owl (H. Mikkola 1973, page 125 tn J.A. Burton [ED.], Owls of the world, Peter Lowe Publ. C ., London, U.K.). Gibbs (1988, Oriole 53:11) described a nest under a bridge in South Carolina, and Peterson (1988, pages 206-207 in R.F. Andrle and J.R. Carroll [EDs.], Barred owl, Strix varia, The atlas of breeding birds in New York state, Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca NY U.S.A.) noted that this owl will nest in barns. Johnson and Follen (1984, Raptor Res. 18:34-35) reported barred owls nesting in boxes constructed for them in Minnesota. However, we found no records of this species nesting in a hole in an earthen bank or cliff.