Jeff is a male barred owl (Strix varia) from Jefferson County, WV. He and his two siblings hatched in 2018 and were raised by a well-meaning person when the tree they had been nesting in fell down. By the time the three young owls were turned over to the ACCA, they were too comfortable with humans to return to the wild. Jeff's brother, now named "Chef," lives at Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding, CA, and his sister, "Rosie," lives at Rocky Gap State Park in Maryland. It's not typically safe to return a raptor to the wild that has become too comfortable around humans; they may continue to seek out humans for food or social interaction.
Barred owls can be found in swampy woods in the eastern United States and parts of the upper west, where they sometimes overlap (and compete with) a related species, the spotted owl. Barred owls nest in cavities in dead trees in late winter to early spring. They eat a wide variety of prey, including small mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and even invertebrates such as crayfish. Their hooting call has been described as sounding like, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?"