why do owls hoot in the night
Tawny owl Mark Bridger The familiar hooo hu huhuhuhooo of the male tawny owl, which is often answered by the female s keewik, is typically heard from late summer to February. Tawny calling behaviour varies throughout the year, but is most pronounced in autumn, when owls are re-establishing their territories and newly independent youngsters are settling into their patches. The more neighbours an owl has, the more frequently it calls, particularly if those neighbours are new. This demonstrates that the owls can recognise other birds on the basis of their call structure.
Tawny calling is also influenced by other factors such as temperature and weather conditions. Some years ago, I conducted research into the behaviour using data collected by a network of 3,500 citizen scientists across the UK. I discovered that the birds were more likely to call on warmer evenings and when a greater proportion of the moon was visible (moon phase has been linked to activity in other nocturnal birds). The tawnies were less vocal on cloudy nights, and there were also strong seasonal patterns.
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or post it to Q A, BBC Wildlife Magazine, Immediate Media Company, 2nd Floor, Tower House, Fairfax Street, Bristol, BS1 3BN Owls call to identify territories, to signal mates, etc. I have the Barred, Great Horned and Screech Owls on my property. Out of those 3 species, I hear the Great Horned Owl the most. Then the Barred second with the Screech Owl being last. When they are actually hunting, they are completely silent.
Matter of fact, an owl's feathers are designed to give it silent flight so that it can capture prey by stealth. With a normal bird in flight, air rushes over the surface of the wing, creating turbulence, which makes a gushing noise. An owl's wings have a comb-like feather edge. This characteristic breaks down the turbulence into little groups called micro-turbulences. This effectively muffles the sound of the air rushing over the wing surface and allows the owl to fly silently.
Owl's will however let out a screech after they initially sink their talons into the prey they just caught. I am guessing this is part of a fear factor to further shock it's prey to surrender. I have Southern Flying Squirrels on my property, not as many as I used to though. I feel this Great Horned Owl that lives on my property has caught quite a few. I could be wrong though, flying squirrels are very secretive, but I know I don't see them at night coming to my sunflower seed feeders like I used to.
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