Things That Go SCREECH In The Night

At 2 am, I was jolted out of sleep by a noise.  As I tried to wake up and focus, I noticed that FM had also woken up and was starting to get up.  Play both of these audio clips at the same time to hear what we heard.

[audio http://www.learner.org/jnorth/sounds/Owl_Barred_Baby.mp3] [audio http://www.learner.org/jnorth/sounds/Owl_Barred_Monkey.mp3]

My initial thought was that there a coyote howling, but soon enough we realized that the sound was coming from the roof, right above our bedroom.  FM thought that it was a peacock – since he had seen one on his bike commute earlier in the week.  As we cleared the fog of sleep away, our guesses became less crazy.

The sound was irregular, with a minute or so passing between calls.  We went out onto the small balcony and tried to crane our necks to see what was perched above us.  Our movement disturbed it and then we saw two shapes fly over to the trees on our pond island.   At that point we could see that there were two owls watching us.  They continued calling but we were unable to identify them with the distance and the dark.  Neither of us had ever heard the sounds before.

FM took this photo a few months after I wrote this post. The owl flew in and surveyed the pond in full daylight in October. Fabulous!

The next morning, I did a little research to try to figure out which owl it could have been.  The Owl Pages is a great website, complete with multiple sound bites of each species.  The clip at the top is exactly what we heard – an adult and a juvenile barred owl, calling together.  In the dark and being sleepy, I thought that the sound was one animal.

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    christiok said,

    Hi Martha, I found my way here and just read the first entry. We have barred owls, too. They say, “WHO COOKS FOR YOU? WHO COOKS FOR YOU?!” That’s how we’ve heard it described anyway, and it cracks me up because that is exactly what it sounds like! Ha! It is a magnificent sound, I agree.

  2. 2

    Shannon said,

    What a beautiful picture of an owl! I can hear one in our yard every once in a while but I haven’t seen it yet. Hopefully one of these times I’ll be lucky enough to see it.

    • 3

      Along A Path said,

      I can’t take credit for the photo – it is the only photo on my blog so far that I borrowed from google images. I am ever hopeful to capture one on film. <maybe next time. Thanks for stopping by!


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