The Barred Owl is a large typical owl. It is also known as Eight Hooter, Rain Owl, Wood Owl, and Striped Owl. But is probably known best as the Hoot Owl.
The adult is 46 cm long with a 115 cm wingspan. It has a pale face with dark rings around the eyes, a yellow beak and brown eyes. It is the only typical owl of the eastern United States which has brown eyes; all others have yellow eyes. The head is round and lacks ear tufts, a distinction from the Short-eared Owl. The upper parts are mottled gray-brown. The underparts are light with markings; the chest is barred horizontally while the belly is streaked lengthwise. The legs and feet are covered in feathers up to the talons
The diet of the Barred Owl consists mostly of mice of many species, but it also feeds on small mammals, mostly rodents, and also birds as large as grouse, doves, and even domestic ducks. It occasionally wades into water to capture fish or terrapins.
The Barred Owl hunts by waiting on a high perch at night, or flying through the woods and swooping down on prey. It generally hunts near dawn or dusk, though it may also hunt on cloudy days. It may fly even in full daylight when disturbed. Of the North American owls, it is the species most likely to be active during the day, especially when raising chicks.