Andrew Paolano got this nice shot of a young barred owl in his back yard near West Mountain. There has been a steady influx of barred owl sightings in the past couple months—there were six in my in-box this evening. Apparently, last summer’s broods were unusually successful and folks are seeing barred owls everywhere. This is not necessarily good news because barreds are typically a bird of secondary forest environment. The ones seen day and night by the roadside, on the edge of fields, and close in backyards are this year’s young, struggling to learn to hunt, and desperate enough to search anywhere. This often does not end well—there have been reports of eight car-owl strikes within a few miles of my house in the past week—but other times things like bird feeders can attract enough rodents to get a young bird through until they figure it out.