We were camping on Leo Island on Murtle Lake. In the dark I walked out onto the spit to have a look at the supermoon rising in the east. On my way back, my headlamp shone onto the trees and we heard an unusual call from the trees above. I scanned the trees with my headlamp and climbed up the slope to try to spot it, but it kept moving from tree to tree. Each time I tried to pinpoint the location, the owl called:
The next night it was gone and we missed the unusual call on the quiet lake. We hope to spot them next time.
The barred owls are large stocky owls which have moved into the northwest over the last century. They can fly soundlessly through the forest so are hard to spot. They frequent old forests and swampy areas. They tend to sleep during the day but hunt for rodents and other small prey at night, normally near water. Their call sounds like “Who cooks for you?”
They nest in tree cavities and scout their spots well in advance of nesting season. They mate for life and tend to not migrate to other areas. So, if you head down the west arm of Murtle Lake, listen for barred owls at night.