This is a Barred Owl that visited our yard yesterday. Based on ‘smaller’ size, a male, I think.
In most species, males are larger than females . This is called ‘male-biased size dimorphism’.
Owls & other raptors tend to be exceptions. Males tend to be the smaller of the pair.
There are multiple theories of why this is. One is being the smaller of the two makes males think twice before being too aggressive when mating & competing with their female partner for food. Another theory is the female spends the most time on the nest & in defense of young from predators so she needs to be bigger & stronger to fight off predators while the male needs to be smaller & more agile to chase down prey to bring to the nest.
Regardless of ‘why’ this fellow is ‘smaller’, he did not seem particularly concerned with size or my presence for that matter.