Barred Owl


It’s early morning here in North Georgia. After a cold Winter, the last few weeks have been nice, with temperatures in the mid-60s. Nights, however, have remained cool, dropping into the high 30s and low 40s.

This morning I heard quite the ruckus coming from the back of my small lot, out near the creek. 

A pair of Barred Owls were having an amorous moment. Here’s a link to something like what it sounded like: Barred Owl Duet. That same website offers this to say about Barred Owls:

Barred Owls have a distinctive hooting call of 8–9 notes, described as “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?” This call carries well through the woods and is fairly easy to imitate. During courtship, mated pairs perform a riotous duet of cackles, hoots, caws and gurgles.

“Barred Owls—beginning with odd screeching and ending with this owl’s unmistakeable “who-cooks-for-you” call.

“This attractive owl, with soulful brown eyes and brown-and-white-striped plumage, can also pass completely unnoticed as it flies noiselessly through the dense canopy or snoozes on a tree limb. Originally a bird of the east, during the twentieth century it spread through the Pacific Northwest and southward into California.

“Barred Owls eat mostly small mammals such as chipmunks and voles, although they also eat birds up to the size of grouse. Woodpeckers, crows, and small songbirds recognize Barred Owls as threats and may gather around them in a noisy mob to drive them away. This owl’s most dangerous predator is another owl: the Great Horned.”

A few years ago I saw one of these birds. Walking along the bank of the creek, I was shocked when I looked up to see a huge owl starring at me. It turned its head around a couple of times, and continued starring. I quietly turned around and headed back the way I’d come. I haven’t seen any since. But I’ve heard them.

The sound of the male call is loud, strong, and pretty cool. Lately, Sina, my dog, runs back down by the creek and offers a few barks, at which the owl screeches back. This morning is the first time I’ve heard the mating ritual, with the male calling and the female offering what sounds like a chatter in return. Funny thing is that this morning Sina didn’t interrupt the couple during their amorous morning.

Y’all have a blessed day!

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

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