The resident owls woke me in the middle of the night with their hooting under the full moon. Their distinctive hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo identifies them as Great Horned Owls (here for sound). It could be a hunting pair, or a single trying to find a mate or a simple warning to stay away from my territory!
My spirit soars when I hear them calling. The neighborhood lost a large track of land to an ugly shopping center and I mourned the loss of meadow, woodland and stream for all the displaced critters. The resident owls have never left, but, I do worry that one day they will not live in my garden. I would miss their hoo-hoo-hooing.
|source A Brendan Lally photo of the Great Horned Owl|
The Great Horned Owl is one of the most widespread and common owls in North America and is found in the Arctic tundra, tropical forest, the desert and in many of our suburban backyards. Given enough food, water and available nesting and roosting sites the Great Horned is very adaptable. It's possible that a mated pair may live nearer your house than you might know! I've read that if you go out on a winter night and hoo-hoo-hoo loudly you might have one call back to you!
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone."