Creature Feature: Ranger the Barred Owl

Ranger is a Barred Owl, Strix varia.  While Barred Owls live all over Maryland, you have to be very lucky and look closely to see them!  They are masters of camouflage.  You may hear them at night however – their call is most distinctive. It sounds like, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?”   Their unique call gives Barred Owls the nicknames of Hoot Owl and Eight Hooter.

Ranger came to the Howard County Conservancy 7 years ago, in January 2010!  He was injured and rehabilitated prior to arriving at the Conservancy, and spends his time with us watching nature, meeting students who visit us on field trips, and heading out into the community with his handlers to visit schools, libraries, weddings, and festivals.

You can visit Ranger at the Howard County Conservancy at Mt. Pleasant!  His permanent enclosure stands next to the main Gudelsky Building.  During our expansion construction, Ranger has a new enclosure built by a Boy Scout.  You can visit him between the goat pen and chicken coop.

Owl Activities:

Head over to Audubon to hear Owl Calls, including Barred Owls (like Ranger) and Eastern Screech Owls (like Belle):

Cornell University has some of the best Bird Resources.  Visit their Barred Owl page:

Practice your Owl Knowledge, Vocabulary and Spelling with these games:

Avoid obstacles while flying through an online game course: