A Barred Owl’s Call

Not late, but well after dark this evening, as we sat in a room with windows open behind us, a Barred Owl called several times, a female, I think (but am not sure), from the purring vibrato at the end of each call. The WHOO-aawwwwww calls sounded very close, though it’s hard to tell. The owl fell silent, and we thought maybe it had gone. Crickets and other night insects sang, and the night air drifting in felt cool and damp. After several minutes, the Barred Owl called again, still nearby, maybe on the edge of the woods, a rich, low WHOOOO-aawwwwww, ending in a long, soft-growling purr.

Then it called again, but from further away – and further – until we heard no more.

Several times over the past three or four weeks, I’ve heard the call of a Barred Owl, sometimes early in the evening like this, more often in the very early hours of the morning, around three or four am. It’s always been the shorter WHOO-awww call, not the longer Who-cooks-for-you. And each time, I could only hear one owl calling, and no response from another – but there might be another too far away for me to hear.

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