Friday, January 17, 2014

I went to sleep. Way too early last nite, which means I woke up way too early this morning... (I rarely sleep more than 6 hours) but it does have one advantage I guess.  That quiet private time in the morning.  I stepped outside with a cup of coffee,  and enjoyed the chilly predawn.

Black trees stretched up to catch the full moon in vain, tje black cat came to rub against my ankles, and I thought to myself that this made perfect Halloween weather.

And then I heard the hoo hooooo hoo hoo of an owl calling through the pre-dawn.  Like most Americans, I certainly know what an owl is, but you don't encounter them that much.  Primarily because they're out at night, in the dark and you just can't see them.

But this time of year, many birds are establishing territories, and this owl was calling,  repeatedly.  Always in that four part note.  Hoo hooooo, hoo hoo.

And then, I saw him.  At the very top of a tree in a neighbors yard, perched on a branch that you wouldn't think would hold anything that size, he was sitting with only the slightest of head movement betraying that he was alive.  He called a few more times, then took flight over my head, and i  saw his pointed wings shadowed against a cobalt sky before he disappeared to the east.

Then, further south, obviously a distance away, I very faintly heard another hooting call.

I'm going to have to do some research to try to identify the species... not a barn owl, as they don't hoot as much as screech is a rather blood curdling manner, and the horned owl has a warble in their hoot I didn't hear... but I did feel honored to see this denizen of the night.

Many people live their entire lives without once even hearing their call... and even those out in the country may only hear their voice and never catch a glimpse of the bird itself.


  1. We sometimes have a great horned owl who nests in the neighbor's tree - it's so cool to hear it hooting at night when it is around.

  2. very cool, claude! good luck finding your ID!!!!!