This morning, I woke to this sound coming faintly from outside our bedroom window at 4 a.m. It made me smile. Our resident Great Horned Owl was back in the coulee, probably looking for a meal. The wide, dry creek bed adjacent to our property was occupied by grazing cows up until this time last year. There are a few downed trees, as well as two, less than healthy looking, oaks still standing. I am assuming any of the tree branches, now loosing their leaves, would make excellent perches for the owl.
Over the years, after moving to the midwest, I have been able to listen to different sounds in the early morning. First, I listened to a train whistle, far off in the distance, being blown as the engine and cars approach one of the many small towns next to the Mississippi. It was always a comforting sound. Then, the first shots of duck hunting season, being heard from the marshes and fields, before those were replaced by houses, and the people within. The gun shots were not welcome sounds, as we do not have hunters in our family. Still, they marked the time of year, for many years to come.
We have lived in a house now for ten years that backs up to a valley and a dried up creek bed. The owl’s sounds, once he returns, are always welcome by me. It tells me that there is still nature outside my window. The cycle of life, continuing for bird and prey, the hunter on his perch, looking for a meal. Nothing is as natural as that. So, when I hear the Hoo-hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo in the early morning before it is light, I smile. I just wish I could get a glimpse of him someday. PC: Pixabay, No Attribution Required.
If you would like more information about owls and their sounds, check out these websites:
Cornell – All about Birds.org – Owls
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology – Great Horned Owl
Journey North – Listen to Owls: Audio Clips
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