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We assessed breeding-pair density and habitat associations of Barred Owls (Strix varia) at the edge of their range in north-central Oklahoma in 1995-1996. We played taped calls of Barred Owls to solicit and record responses (visual and auditory) and thereby determine density in our 1155-ha study area. Numbers of owls ranged from 7 pairs in 1995 to 11 pairs in 1996, or 1 Barred Owl pair/105-165 ha in a relatively contiguous bottomland forest. To assess habitat associations, we overlaid core areas of owl activity, as inferred from the locations of Barred Owl responses, on aerial photographs and quantified habitats in a 0.65-km2 cell surrounding owl core areas. Barred owl pairs were associated with closed-canopy forest (62.8%), fallow agricultural fields (10.6%), water (8.1%), and treeless (open) areas (6.2%), which differed from single owls (presumed nonbreeders) that showed a greater affinity for open-canopy forest and agricultural fields.
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Density and habitat associations of Barred Owls at the edge of their range in Oklahoma