Barred Owls have extended their range to the west coast, from the east coast, and have been seen in Marin. There is increasing concern about their impact on Marin’s Northern Spotted Owl population. Barred Owls are larger, more agencies have begun to monitor Barred Owl activity in Marin and they need your help!

Barred owl vs Northern Spotted owl

Notify the appropriate agency asap should you see what might be a Barred Owl:

  • For sightings on federal land, notify Bill Merkle – National Parks Service Wildlife Biologist;
  • For sightings on Marin County Parks land notify Serena Hubert
  • For sightings on CA Department of Fish and Wildlife lands notify Mandy Culpepper
  • On MMWD lands notify Carl Sanders
  • For sightings on other lands notify Renee Cormier

Your report should include the owl’s size, eye color, ear tufts, markings, behavior and location. If possible, take a picture or make a recording. The two species look similar. The easiest way to differentiate the two is the feather pattern on their chest: Spotted Owl will have a spotted brown and white pattern, while the Barred has a barred brown and white pattern. See the photos on page one of the January 2020 issue of Marin Audubon’s newsletter The Rail.

Thank you for your help.