This Barred Owl was recently sitting in back of a neighbor's, warming itself in the morning sun. We have seen it in our west woods, during breeding time, perhaps it's the same owl. Sometimes people confuse this big owl with a Barn Owl or Snowy Owl, who are paler and have white faces. Barred Owls are widespread across much of the eastern half and northwest quarter of the country and much of Canada. It's one of the most vocal of the owls, know for it's "who-c00ks-for-you" hooting sound, but it can make other noises as well.
I remember one Christmas Bird Count years ago when Don and I went out late at night to listen for owls. We were standing next to our car on a quiet road when, out of the blue, we heard this enormous scream over our heads, making the hair on the back of our necks stand up. We ducked down, bewildered. The next sound we heard was "who-cooks-for-you," the familiar hooting of a Barred Owl, who we realized had made the scream. Whew!
Listen to Bared Owl sounds on your Stokes Field Guide To Bird Songs CDs.