This Barred owl was photographed at Alligator Wildlife Refuge, about a half hour west of the beach off of highway 64. I first noticed this owl on the gravel road with its wings spread out. I wasn't sure if it was hurt or covering pray. When it flew to a nearby tree I saw there was no pray and it wasn't hurt. With the help of Eve Turek, we later figured out that it was taking a dust bath on the gravel road. Dust bathing helps birds remove parasites from feathers and skin.
Barred owls are also known as Hoot owls because of their distinctive calls. They are one of the few owls that do not have ear tufts in the eastern United States.