18 December 2015

Symphony of Horned Owls Late on a December Night

A night's symphony was heard before any tinge of a day's sort of dawn, during the dark when the ground was covered by a few inches of fresh, white snow among the trees and other plants. Incessant calls of the Great Horned Owl were heard while sitting silently in the lawn chair on the porch of the bluebird shack, north of Minnechaduza creek, by Valentine.

There was a vivid duet underway. The mighty feathered owls heard were two focal spots at some nearby place among the trees in two compass directions.

Sounds were close yet elusive. The dynamic duo were in two nearby trees — some barren and some of the coniferous sort — concerned for the time only with their audible expressions. They were certainly well perched — though unseen by a listener of the moment — on a branch of their choice, probably a place they appreciated as a place of seasonal familiarity. They hooted every few minutes, in a contrasting chorus amidst the seemingly absolute still of dark and starlit hours on 13 December 2015.

One of the big owls conveyed a rich and dynamic "hoo-hoo-who cooks for you" of a lower timbre. The response was a the same call at a greater pitch. The sounds of a muted, expressive late night at 5:15 a.m. were such an expression of the chilly land. The owls were indicating their residence as they get established for the pending breeding season, though it is winter on the human calendar. There is probably already a known tree spot for a nest.

No reply was given by the two owl models stolid atop fence posts of the horse corral. They were mute and their heads were covered with snow.

The owl life sounds were calls for the next generation, conveyed one night as it has been by many others of this sort of owl for centuries.

Since owls have their own schedule, their night calls were not heard again, even 30 minutes later. These residents have been heard and seen previously, and will be again when there is the proper chill and lack of winds."