2020 55¢ Winter Scenes: Barred Owl
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: October 16, 2020
First Day City: Winter Park, FL
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Double-sided booklet of 20
Quantity Printed: 400,000,000
The barred owl is one of the more common owl species of eastern North America. They are sometimes called "hoot owls" due to their signature call, which sounds like "Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all." In fact, these hoots are often so powerful that they can be heard over half a mile away.
Barred owls are large – 16 to 25 inches long with wingspans of 38 to 49 inches – and have distinct markings. Females are larger than males, with both species featuring the same feather pattern. They are mostly gray to grayish brown with blackish or dark brown vertical streaks. Barred owls have rounded heads with no ear tufts, making them easy to distinguish from the great horned owl and other species. interestingly, barred owls are the only non-barn owls in the eastern United States with brown eyes. All other species have yellow eyes.
Like other birds of prey, barred owls hunt for rodents, songbirds, and other small animals from above. Their wing shape allows them to fly without making a noise, giving them the element of surprise when hunting. In the winter, barred owls rely on their exceptional hearing to locate mice or voles under the snow. In winter 2019, New England experienced a huge uptick in barred owl reports. Against the snow, these owls are a truly magnificent sight.