It would be easy to paint the barred owl as a villain and victim in the story of the northern spotted owl. By the early 2000's, barred owls had made their way from the eastern United States to the Pacific Northwest, where the bold owl has been out-competing threatened northern spotted owls in almost every way. They are more aggressive, territorial, versatile and will hybridize with northern spotted owls if they don't kill them or drive them out. They are the newest threat that might just break the northern spotted owl's back. Lethal control of barred owls appears to be the only method giving small populations of northern spotted owls the breathing room to maintain a foothold. But barred owls are also beautiful, graceful and resilient. A taken owl is not done so in vain. From each removed barred owl, biologist Mark Higley takes as much information as possible from body measurements, blood and stomach samples to feather morphology and photos. To just kill them would be criminal, he says. The data Higley gathers can reveal a lot about the birds and the health of northern spotted owls. Samples taken from the organs of removed barred owls have shown the impacts of poisons in the forests tied to trespass cannabis grows. And where removal of barred owls has been implemented alongside forest conservation, spotted owl numbers are stabilizing. It begs the question. Do we kill one owl to save another, or do we do nothing and let one species go extinct?