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2020 Barred Owl Cam Season Kicks Off As Female Lays An Egg

The female Barred Owls prepares to leave the nest box.

The Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl cam is back for another season! The owls have returned to their camera-equipped nest box in the forested backyard of WBU president and CEO Jim Carpenter for the seventh year in a row. Just yesterday the female unveiled the pair’s first egg, with a second egg expected to arrive sometime in the next 24–48 hours. Now’s the time to watch, listen, and learn about this endearing duo as they attempt to raise another feathered family in front of our eyes. 

Who’s On Cam

Since the cam launched in 2014, the Barred Owls nesting at this site have proven to be exemplary parents. Out of 16 eggs laid over the years, 16 healthy owlets have left the nest box. The vigilant care and surplus of prey provided by the adults are largely to thank for their successes, and we’re hoping all that experience translates into another fruitful breeding season in 2020.

When to Watch (And Listen)

The WBU Barred Owl cam broadcasts 24/7 for a reason! During the day, you might catch the owls booming out their classic call, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?” But the fun doesn’t stop there. Barred Owls are semi-nocturnal hunters, meaning there is plenty to see after the sun goes down. Make sure to check out the exterior cam view (click the “2nd cam” button above the live stream) to see what tasty treats, like this earthworm, the male has to offer his mate at night. 

What’s Still To Come 

First and foremost, more eggs are likely to arrive in the coming days. Barred Owl clutch size ranges between 1 and 5 eggs, but the owls at this location historically lay 2 or 3 eggs per clutch. Once the clutch is complete, the female will spend the month-long incubation period atop the eggs while her mate hunts for food. After hatching in early April, it takes 4–5 weeks for the owlets to grow old enough to explore the world outside of the nest box. 

Join us for another whirlwind breeding season in Zionsville, Indiana. Stay up to date with all the happenings at the nest by following the cam on Twitter @WBU_Owls.

Bird Cams is a free resource

providing a virtual window into the natural world
of birds and funded by donors like you

Pileated Woodpecker by Lin McGrew / Macaulay Library