Sunday, June 16, 2013
June 16: Early morning Screech Owl
Today I got up a few minutes before 6 am to let my dogs into the yard, and was surprised to hear an Eastern Screech Owl calling despite the fact that it was quite light already.
It was making its quavering whinny call, a series of mellow notes strung together, which at a distance merge together into a slur. This is their most common call in our area.
It is not uncommon to hear Screech Owls calling at odd hours, especially answering to whistled imitations or recordings (which birders use to draw songbirds into view, as they come to mob the owl). But it seems to me to happen more in late summer and early fall. I have always presumed it to be the gullible young that respond to the imitations and recordings, because of this seasonal pattern.
Screech Owls are our most common urban owl, and seem to be in nearly every neighborhood with a good number of large trees. I typically hear or see them spontaneously several times per year at my house in Old Jefferson.
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