AP NEWS

Reports of unusual barred owl behavior across Connecticut

February 1, 2019

Reports of unusual behavior of barred owls have been coming in across Connecticut for the past few weeks.

The owls, which normally hunt at night are instead making “brazen, daylight appearances.” The normally inland birds, have also been spotted in several towns, along the coast including Greenwich, Fairfield, Stratford, Milford and New Haven, the Connecticut Audubon Society said.

“We’re getting reports from all over,” said Patrick Comins, executive director of the Connecticut Audubon Society.

Comins believes the boom could be because of a good breeding season and those young owls born last summer are spreading out to new territory. It’s also believed the lack of small rodents is forcing the owls to hunt outside of their normal places and times.

There have been 69 barred owl spottings recorded on Cornell University’s eBird.org in the first three weeks of January, compared to 39 for all of January 2018, 40 for January 2017, and 32 for January 2016.

Six spottings were recorded in Southbury alone.

“They’re fairly common and wide spread,” Comins said. “It’s just that they’re highly nocturnal and camouflaged so it’s hard to see them.”

The barred owls are found all over the state, though they tend to favor wetlands and red maple swamps, which is one of Connecticut’s most popular habitats.

This story will be updated.

AP RADIO
Update hourly