How Long Do Barred Owls Live?


Barred owls can live for a significant amount of time, but the lifespan can vary depending on the source:

  • The earliest Barred Owls will start nesting is at two years old and they can live for over twenty years.
  • The average lifespan of a barred owl in the wild is approximately 8 years.
  • Barred owls can live 20+ years, but life in the wild can be harsh for an owl. Due to predation, illness, and human impacts this species lives a.
  • Barred owls are expected to live up to 10 years in the wild and over 20 years in captivity.
  • The longest recorded age of a wild barred owl is 18 years and 2 months old.
  • Captive birds have been known to live as long as 23 years.

Based on these sources, it seems that barred owls can live anywhere from 8 to over 20 years in the wild, with some individuals living up to 23 years in captivity.

What Is The Earliest Age At Which Barred Owls Start Nesting?

Barred Owls usually start nesting at two years old.

They are capable of breeding at about 2 years of age.

The nesting season for Barred Owls begins in March.

The female lays two or three white eggs, which hatch in 28 to 33 days.

The young hatch in about 30 days and leave the nest well before they are fully grown or fully feathered, at about 4-5 weeks of age.

What Are Some Factors That Can Affect The Lifespan Of Barred Owls In The Wild?

Factors that can affect the lifespan of Barred Owls in the wild are not directly answered.

However, some information about Barred Owls and their habitat is provided, which may indirectly affect their lifespan.

Here are some relevant points:

  • Habitat: Barred Owls prefer mostly dense and thick woods with only scattered clearings, especially in low-lying and swampy areas. They are most common in deciduous or mixed woods in the southeast, but in the north and northwest, they may be found in mature coniferous trees. Old growth forests are preferred due to more extensive potential nest sites, less lower-branch density to impede hunting (and perhaps superior structural complexity to aid hunting).
  • Climate: Climate change is expected to reshape the range of Barred Owls.
  • Competition with other owl species: Barred Owls have expanded their range in recent decades and are now competing with Spotted Owls in some areas.
  • Food availability: A number of factors such as food availability can also affect an owl’s lifespan.

Can You Provide Examples Of Human Impacts That Can Potentially Affect The Lifespan Of Barred Owls?

Human impacts can potentially affect the lifespan of Barred Owls in several ways.

Here are some examples:

  • Habitat modification: The greatest impact that humans have on Barred Owls is habitat modification through deforestation and timber harvesting. This can lead to a reduction in suitable nesting and foraging sites, which can negatively impact the survival and reproduction of Barred Owls.
  • Predation: Barred Owls can be preyed upon by other animals, including humans. Deliberate shooting, trapping, and poisoning are some individual impacts against owls that can potentially affect their lifespan.
  • Competition with other owl species: Barred Owls have been known to negatively affect Spotted Owl populations by decreasing their survival and increasing local extinction rates. This competition for resources can potentially impact the lifespan of Barred Owls.
  • Illness: Like all animals, Barred Owls can be susceptible to illness. However, there were no specific examples of human impacts causing illness in Barred Owls.
  • Shorter lifespan: Due to predation, illness, and human impacts such as habitat modification, Barred Owls have a relatively short life outside of captivity. The average lifespan is 8-10 years.

Is There A Significant Difference In Lifespan Between Barred Owls Living In Captivity Versus Those Living In The Wild?

There is no clear answer to whether there is a significant difference in lifespan between Barred Owls living in captivity versus those living in the wild.

Here is what we know:

  • Barred Owls are naturally long-living birds, with some record lifespans recorded per banding studies in the wild of up to 24 years and 1 month.
  • The oldest confirmed Barred Owl lived 23 years, and it was in captivity.
  • Barred Owls commonly live longer lives in captivity because they are not threatened by predation or many human impacts, such as getting caught in traps or collisions.
  • In the wild, Barred Owls face threats from predators and other dangers such as deforestation caused by timber harvesting.
  • Barred Owls are generalists and opportunistic predators, and their diet consists mostly of small mammals and rabbits, but they also eat birds up to the size of grouse, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates.

Are There Any Notable Reasons Why Some Barred Owls In Captivity Have Been Known To Live Longer Than Those In The Wild?

Some Barred Owls in captivity have been known to live longer than those in the wild.

Here are some notable reasons why this might be the case:

  • Less exposure to predators: Owls in captivity are protected from predators that they would encounter in the wild, such as other birds of prey or mammals.
  • Access to medical care: Captive owls have access to medical care and treatment that they might not receive in the wild, which can help them live longer.
  • Stable food supply: Owls in captivity are provided with a stable food supply, which can help them avoid starvation during times when prey is scarce in the wild.
  • Reduced stress: Captive owls may experience less stress than those in the wild, which can have a positive impact on their health and lifespan.

It’s worth noting that while some Barred Owls have lived to be over 30 years old in captivity, the average lifespan of a wild Barred Owl is around 8-10 years.

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