Monday, March 05, 2012

Great Horned Owls

It's the hooting season.

On nearly every evening walk at this time of year, I look forward to hearing the haunting HOOOOT-hoot-hoot-hoot of great horned owls. If I stop, I can often see one silently flying from tree to tree. Somtimes, they even land just above my head.

Great horned owls begin calling to potential mates as early as October. They will pair off this month. At this time of year, they call to each other more frequently--what is called "duetting."

The owls breed in January and February--among the earliest of any birds on the continent. But they're still active now. If you take an evening walk this month, listen carefully--you may hear the haunting hoots echoing across the landscape.

And you have a good chance of hearing great horned owls wherever you are in Idaho. They are one of the most adaptable birds in the Americas, found from Canada to Tierra del Fuego, in small woodlots and vast wilderness, in sagebrush and city parks, in deserts and along rivers.

It's a great time of year to take an evening walk. The sounds of coyotes howling mixed with various active birds--from red-winged blackbirds to ducks to warblers--creates a lovely spring symphony. Get outside, and enjoy the nature that is found nearby, wherever you live in Idaho.

1 comment:

Bill S. said...

Here it is nesting season for the Great-horned. I have located four different nesting pairs.