Congratulations to Kyle Tansley for winning the December 2018 Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist photo-observation of the month. The image of a Barred Owl with a rodent in its bill was the most popular photo-observation.
The Barred Owl is the most common owl in Vermont. The Second Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas found it had increased by 36% compared to the first atlas.Barred Owls eat many kinds of small animals, including squirrels, chipmunks, mice, voles, rabbits, birds (up to the size of grouse), amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates. They hunt by sitting and waiting on an elevated perch, while scanning all around for prey with their sharp eyes and ears. They are very vocal and will frequently call during the day. The distinctive call is given by both the male and the female, with the male’s deeper voice distinguishable in duets; the call can be translated as who cooks for you? who cooks for you-all? A variety of shorter calls, squeaks, and grunts are given too.
Visit iNaturalist Vermont, and you can vote for the winner this month by clicking ‘fav’ on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!