A Barred Owl’s Early Morning Call

At 6:30 this morning it was still dark outside my windows, and I lay awake watching and listening as the first light began very gradually to appear. Crickets sang and there were the sounds of dry cracking and scratching things, and an Eastern Phoebe sang far in the distance. My attention was kind of drifting when I realized I had heard the deep hoo-aww hoots of a Barred Owl. It wasn’t very close, and I could only hear one, but it called again, and again, four, maybe five times I think, each deep, hooted, booming, echoing call a sound I could feel as well as hear. 

After the owl fell quiet, a dry patter of leaves showered down in a breeze, and acorns thumped to the ground. 

Brown Thrashers began their smacking calls. An Eastern Bluebird murmured a blurry song, another Eastern Phoebe sang, this one closer, and four Carolina Wrens began to sing in different directions, all different songs. Then the harsh cries of several Blue Jays, the peeps of Northern Cardinals, the chatter of a Carolina Chickadee, and the chur-whee of an Eastern Towhee. American Crows cawed in the distance. A Carolina Wren burst into very loud song right below my window – past time to get up. 

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