Sunday, March 13, 2016

Owl Howls



It's a Slice of Life Sunday at Two Writing Teachers.  I'll see if I have time to link!  My comments will be late tonight after I get home.

Wednesday night, March, 8th, a Barred Owl returned.  They stay around all year, but usually I don't hear them in the winter.   But this week he's back in our neighborhood.  Maybe the mice are more plentiful down the road a ways in winter, but spring mice are fresher here.

Friday night, as we were driving home and the crescent moon was so clear and bright, I wondered if we would hear him again.  And right on cue, as we got out of the car, we heard him howling, loud and close by.  I love to hear the lingering "who cooks for you" question.  Suddenly we heard a return call.  So there are two in the neighborhood! The second one sounded a little upset, giving an almost hawklike squawk before commencing to speak politely.  Maybe she was just excited to hear a friendly hoot out there in the dark. I hope they are here to set up housekeeping.  I'd love to hear them every night.

It would be a good place for them to live -  in the woods just above a river that meanders down to the ocean, not too far away.  It's the perfect habitat for Barred Owls, and one of the reasons our cat does not go outside - coyotes and hawks being the others.

Twice I have been startled by owls out here.  Once when I was walking to the car at night, a huge, silent, gray form swooped down, flying right past me like a ghost (not that I've ever had a ghost fly past me, so maybe it isn't like that).  He maybe thought I was prey, or he was on his way to prey and I just happened to walk in between at a bad moment.
The second time was a hot summer night, and I was on the computer up in our loft. I had the windows in the peak open for a breeze as I worked.  Suddenly, the hooting of the Barred Owl came from a tree branch right outside the window, and I jumped.  I couldn't see him, but I certainly heard him loud and clear.  It was like I was sitting right beside him... and I literally was come to think of it!

Last summer, when the grandchildren were here, we saw the pair in a tree in our driveway and our grandson was able to at last see the owls he'd heard.  He was fascinated, but he really didn't like the hooting, until I told him they were talking to him, and asking him "Who, who are you?"

I do hope they stick around for a while; I really want to get a better picture than the one I've got so far.  And another recording.  They often stop abruptly when I start recording.
Barred owl just above our house looking down at me.




6 comments:

  1. We have a den of chipmunks in our yard, and I wouldn't mind "borrowing" your owl for a stretch of time.
    Kevin

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  2. I'm fascinated with owls and delighted when I hear them call. Until I remember the book "I Heard The Owl Call My Name." Then I'm a little uncomfortable. But generally my delight triumphs and I'm quite jealous that you have such regular visitors. I'm so impressed you were able to capture a picture of one!

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  3. I'm fascinated with owls and delighted when I hear them call. Until I remember the book "I Heard The Owl Call My Name." Then I'm a little uncomfortable. But generally my delight triumphs and I'm quite jealous that you have such regular visitors. I'm so impressed you were able to capture a picture of one!

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  4. As a kid one of my favorite stories was "Owls in the Family", chapter book. It's a hoot!

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  5. I'm a big owl fan too! Last winter for some reason the Barred owl stayed in the woods behind my house and I heard him all winter. It was a hard winter, too. For some reason I haven't heard him in months and we are experiencing a very mild winter. I can't wait to hear my old friend again. Thanks for sharing this slice!

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  6. I'm a big owl fan too! Last winter for some reason the Barred owl stayed in the woods behind my house and I heard him all winter. It was a hard winter, too. For some reason I haven't heard him in months and we are experiencing a very mild winter. I can't wait to hear my old friend again. Thanks for sharing this slice!

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