Not only do I have 400# hogs running around my little patch of suburbia, I’ve got some owls in the wooded area behind my house. Two nights ago, the Mrs. asked if I heard a sound to which I replied “Sounds either like a cat getting ready to hork in our back yard, or it’s an owl”. There were some non-patterned yowling sounds that made me think it wasn’t really an owl after all, but after a while we realized it couldn’t be a cat.
I told my daughters about it last night and they asked me what kind of owl it was. I said I didn’t know because I couldn’t see it, I just heard it and that I wasn’t even sure what kinds of owls we had here in Florida. Later on, I decided to surf the tubes and find out.
When I started searching ‘Florida Owl’, the Googles suggested ‘Florida Owl sounds’ to which I was taken to a page where I listened to all the native owl calls and found out that indeed, it was a barred owl I had heard.
Here’s the thing. Sure, back in my youth I could have looked through an encyclopedia or gone to the library to get a book on local bird life. I could have read the descriptions of the bird’s call like Wikipedia has it
The usual call is a series of eight accented hoots ending in oo-aw, with a downward pitch at the end. The most common mnemonic device for remembering the call is "Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all." It is noisy in most seasons. When agitated, this species will make a buzzy, rasping hiss.
Which sounded somewhat like what I heard but without actually hearing it, it would have been just a guess. Being that there are sounds online that I can now hear, I’m 100% sure of what it was.
It’s an amazing time to be alive in. Let’s hope we can somehow keep all this together.