The Barred Owl, Strix varia in Alberta: Distribution and Status

Lisa Takats Priestley


Barred Owl distribution and status in Alberta were investigated using over 300 individual records (1912 through 1999) that were collected from literature, museum/zoo specimens, nest cards, bird surveys, volunteer raptor banders, and naturalists. Barred Owls were distributed throughout much of the boreal forest, aspen parkland, foothill, and mountain ecoregions of Alberta. Fifty-four breeding records (46 nests) were found. Barred Owls were associated with older forests and had a clumped distribution, predominantly along water where larger Balsam Poplar trees provide nesting sites. According to Alberta's "Status of Alberta Wildlife 2000" criteria, the Barred Owl should be assessed as Sensitive. There is no evidence that Barred Owls have expanded their range in Alberta in the last 100 years; rather, they have maintained their distribution.


Barred Owl; Strix varia; distribution; status; Alberta; volunteer surveys; nests

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