Owling, Howling, and What Does the Fox Say?
It’s Halloween soon and it’s getting spooky out there. Zombies are slowly waking up, witches are brewing their elixirs, and Harry Potters are practicing Quidditch.
But there’s another “spooky” thing out there too. The natural sounds of the night. Owls, coyotes, and yes, foxes. These mostly nocturnal animals communicate after dark. We humans are uncomfortable in the dark (to say the least), so hearing a sound in the dark from an unknown source can really raise the hairs on your neck.
In our area, the bigger owl species, notably the Great-horned and Barred Owls, already start calling after sunset this time of year. We also recently heard some Eastern Screech Owls calling in our neighborhood. Are these young ones practicing or adults getting territorial already? Either way, here are some calls and songs from the three owl species you’re most likely to hear this time of year.
Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio)
Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)
Barred Owl (Strix varia)
Coyotes, also known as Song Dogs, probably have one of the most haunting calls out there:
What’s the creepiest sound you’ve ever heard at night? I once was positioned close to a fox burrow in the forest, waiting for the pups to come out after sunset, when I heard what sounded like a human baby crying. I could tell it was close, so I turned just in time to see that it was a fawn (baby deer) that got too close to me before being aware of my presence. I will never forget that sound and have never been able to find a good recording on the internet, but a hunter friend of mine once remarked, ”I know exactly what you mean, it sounds just like a human baby.” Just to get the idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vsWBWx0C8k
What Does The Fox Say?
And finally, I promised to reveal what the fox says:
Love birds? Read more of Erich’s articles about birds:
- Go Birding – Open Your Eyes to a New World of Inspiration
- How Birds Use Colors and Patterns to Attract Mates and Avoid Predators
- On the Wing – 17,200 Hawks to Watch Every Fall (and 8 resource links to help you find and identify them!)
- 1,000 Songs for Free! No Smartphone Required
- A Shorebird in the Forest? Meet the American Woodcock
- On the Wing – The Magic of Bird Migration
- Ducks, Gulls, Feathers, Feet, and Freezing Temperatures
- Great Horned Owls Lay Eggs in February in the Northeastern US?
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