Barred Owl, "Cedar"
Strix varia

Cedar is a large owl, approximately 15 inches tall, with a rounded head, dark brown eyes, and barred or striped brown and white feathers.

In 1991, while hunting for rodents at night along a dark Tallahassee road, Cedar was the unfortunate victim of an automobile collision. Her left wing was so badly damaged it had to be amputated.

Each year, St. Francis Wildlife receives hundreds of nocturnal animals who are temporarily blinded by a vehicle's approaching headlights and then are unable evade its path.

On full moon nights and during mating season in March, a wild barred owl flies out of the woods and lands on top of her cage. They both hoot loudly to one another all night long.

One way we can help owls is by not throwing food onto the roadsides. Rodents are attracted by the apple cores and other food items we throw from our car windows. At night, owls swoop low across the road to prey upon the rodents. Many owls, like Cedar, are injured or killed each year in this way.

Another way we can help is by removing dead animals from the roads. Predators -- like owls, hawks, vultures and opossums -- are sometimes killed because they are attracted by the carrion.

 St. Francis Wildlife Association