Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


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Steve Shupe, “Observations of the Barred Owl in Southeastern Nebraska,” from Nebraska Bird Review (June 1985) 53(2).


Copyright 1985 Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union. Used by permission.


The status of the Barred Owl (Strix varia) in Nebraska has been questioned for several years. The concern rests mainly with the continued depletion of deep forest habitat which has threatened the very existence of this magnificent raptor. During a three-year study of the Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) and Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), Barred Owls were encountered at various times. It seemed appropriate to accumulate some data on the birds; however, because of their precarious status only limited ecological information was collected.

In 1983 seven nest sites were located within the study area (approximately 76 square miles of northeastern Nemaha County). Of these, four were in snags (trees broken off to form hollows) and three were in old Red-tail nests. The following year six nests were located; five in snags and one in a Red-tail nest. Three of the 1983 snags were used again in 1984, presumably by the same mated pairs.