The barred owl is a medium-sized woodland species native to eastern North America. Over the last century, it progressively expanded its range north and westward, and now inhabits forested areas throughout the Pacific Northwest. No one knows why for sure, but most theories point to the dramatic changes to the landscape in the Great Plains as people increasingly settled there, removing natural barriers that previously may have prevented the barred owl's movement westward. Competition from the barred owl is one of two main threats to the northern spotted owl, a Pacific Northwest species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
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