The Owls Were Flying
Meet the Hooter. Sometime in the last 6 months or so, for some reason, I was in one of those overly huge sportman/hunting megasuperstores looking for owl calls. I found three and took them home. This past weekend I finally had a chance to try them out. We were down at Starved Rock, not even 100 feet into the woods just outside the Lodge. I tell you, not 6 seconds after blowing the Hooter did we hear this. Now I’m no naturalist, but to me that sounds like at least a couple Barred Owls and who knows what else. The Barred Owls, aka Strix varia, are apparently pretty vocal birds. Their call is phrased in 8 quick hoots, the last of which is more like an ooo-aww, and sounds a little like, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you alllll…” The alll part can sometimes be a fluttering vocalization, and you can see that this particular owl call has holes in the side that you can cover with your fingers to emulate that flutter. In any case, it was pretty exhilarating being in the woods listening to this. Later on, one of them was hissing and growling. I think it had figured out our little game.