Monday, August 10, 2015
A Barred Owl in the Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park
The Barred Owl, on the other hand is not threatened at all, and indeed has been expanding its habitat. It is primarily a species of the eastern United States, but reforestation and abandonment of farmlands across the midwest (and to a certain degree, global warming) has allowed the owl to expand westward and come into direct competition with the Spotted Owls. It tends to win out, being larger and able to survive in a wider range of habitats. It was first seen in the Olympic rainforest in 1985, and has been expanding its range to the south (see my note on Barred Owls in Muir Woods), mostly at the expense of the Northern Spotted Owls
I would never anthropomorphize an animal, of course. Actually, despite the role it has played in the disruption of ecosystems in the northwest, it is a beautiful animal.