Owls are capable of hearing prey under leaves, plants, dirt, and snow. Some owls have sets of ears at different heights on their heads, which lets them locate prey based on tiny differences in sound waves. Other owls have flat faces with special feathers that focus sound, essentially turning their faces into one big ear. (The “ear tufts” on some owls are feathers.)

Owls are solitary, nocturnal creatures, which swoop silently through the forest, their binocular vision and strong sharp talons enabling them to spot and carry away small prey in the dark. Their round eyes give the impression of wisdom which has earned them the reputation that may or may not be deserved.

Barred Owls live in large, mature forests made up of both deciduous trees and evergreens, often near water. They nest in tree cavities. In the Northwest, Barred Owls have moved into old-growth coniferous forest, where they compete with the threatened Spotted Owl.