Birds & Birding

The Hooting Season: Enjoying Great Horned Owls

Now is the time to enjoy great horned owls setting up their nesting territories. Photo: © Nick Hall for The Nature Conservancy

In this season of cold, snow and holiday music, the North American bird breeding and nesting season seems months away.

It’s not until the trees begin to bud and flowers bloom that the birdsong fills the air.

And that’s true. But not for great horned owls.

Now is the time to enjoy the great horned owl breeding season – a time when these charismatic birds are much easier to see and hear.

It’s the hooting season.

Don a winter cap and head out to your local park or walking trail to enjoy one of the season’s coolest spectacles. Here’s what you need for your next owl outing.

© Sergio Pucci

Into Owl Territory

The great horned owl, of course, is one of the most recognizable birds in the Americas, with its pointy feather tufts (the “horns”) and large fluffy appearance.

This is the prototypical “wise old owl,” and the owl of cartoons and children’s books.

It’s also incredibly adaptable, found from Canada to Patagonia, and most places in between. It is at home in desert and wetland, forest and prairie. And it also has no trouble thriving around people: you can find them in parks, farms, small woodlots, suburbs and cities.

Despite this, they’re not always easy to spot due to their nocturnal habits. But at this time of year, in the right location, a chorus of hoots provides the soundtrack to dawn and dusk.

That’s because, around October, male great horned owls begin setting up territories. Most great horned owls mate for life, but in the fall the pair begin a courtship display, loudly calling to each other.

The great horned owl’s hoot is pretty much unmistakable, although ornithology web sites often describe it in different ways. A common hooting pattern is a longer hoooooot, followed by two or three shorter hoots.

And these owls have a range of other vocalizations, too, some of which sound like barks or a screeching cat. (Cornell’s All About Birds site features some great audio of these different calls).

The owls continue setting up their territory this month, and begin setting up a nest.

They’ll use an abandoned nest previously used by a red-tailed hawk, squirrel or other critter. Come January, they’ll begin setting in the nest – far earlier than most other birds.

Young great horned owls in the nest. © Jill Bauer/TNC Photo Contest 2019

Why Do Owls Nest So Early? 

Nesting early naturally entails some risk. Eggs must be kept warm and incubated, which can be a challenge when the temperature is in the single digits and snow is falling.

Female owls stay on the nest for prolonged periods (and when they leave to hunt, the male will take over).

If the eggs become too cold, they won’t hatch. This is why most birds wait until temperatures are warm and mild.

So: why nest early?

Owls are large birds. It takes them longer to grow and mature than, say, a songbird.

Young great horned owls must also master complex hunting maneuvers. They are equipped with superb senses – researchers have found that a great horned owl can hear a mouse rustling at 900 feet – but hunting still involves learning, trial and error.

Early hatching means they’re ready to practice their flying and hunting skills when the weather is mild and prey is abundant.

A great horned owl near the entrance to Dangermond Preserve. © Bill Marr/TNC

Enjoying the Owl Show

There’s likely a great horned owl territory near you. Now you just need to find it.

While owls can live in a variety of habitats, you won’t find them just anywhere. Focus on the edges. Owls prefer to have a good vantage point – a place where they can see out over the terrain.

Trees that overlook an open area are ideal. In particular, try to find a big-limbed tree that has shed its leaves (or a dead one). You can often find owls roosting there.

You can do a bit of scouting, too. Owls regurgitate the indigestible hair and bones of their prey: called owl pellets. You can often find a number of these pellets below preferred trees. (You can often reassemble the bones of mice by dissecting an owl pellet, another fun wintertime activity).

Of course, the easiest way to spot owls is not by looking, but listening. Those haunting hoots carry a long way. Sometimes you almost feel those hoots before you see them.

Once you hear the hooting, look carefully in likely trees, and you may be able to see the distinctive profile of the owl. Look through a binocular, and don’t be surprised if the owl is staring back at you.

It pays to quietly observe the owls for a while. I’ve been able to watch some interesting behavior, including owls mating.

A captive great horned owl in Florida.
Photo © Mark Conlin, courtesy of Tallahassee Natural History Museum

My Owl Connection

Family lore holds that, long before I could utter words, I would lie in my crib and hoot like an owl. Perhaps my naturalist path was set, even then.

That story has been in my thoughts this year, as I prepare for the birth of my own son. The great horned owls, it seems, are everywhere. I see them perched on trees around our home and along the greenbelt jogging path; hear their calls in the canyons and river bottoms.

I’m always alert to the local wildlife, but this year, I can’t help but pay extra attention to all that owl activity.

I wake up in the middle of the night, thinking of my son and the world he’ll inhabit. And then, there it is: that deep hoot, hoot, hooting.

It seems to fill the room.

I snuggle under the covers and smile, filled with the hope that my son will find such comfort and joy in the wild things and their always-interesting ways.

Join the Discussion

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  1. Awesome article. Please post if there’s any spottings in NYC area or Long Island My daughter would love to see them

  2. Great info but very important to add that you should not get too close to the nest or disturb the owls in any way. If you are altering their behavior, you are disturbing them.

  3. Here’s a wonderful opportunity to get “up close” without endangering or disturbing these beautiful and majestic birds. I’m obsessed with this live feed of a nesting great horned owl on Skidaway Island, Georgia. She has taken up residence in what was originally a bald eagle nest and is caring for two eggs.

  4. I believe one of these lives in very close proximity to my house. Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoooooooo. I’ve been hearing that noise outside my window for years. I actually hear it from springtime throughout the entire summer. Could it be a great horned owl?

  5. Hi Matt. Has it been definitively proven that Great Horned owls have no learning involved with hoots? This week I heard a mother owl and two of here fledged owlets, a male and a female. As I listened to the youngsters gargled hoots I heard them seem to improve into more reliable adult hoots. I know the mother’s hoots from over five years of listening. I also can recognize the younger male parent. The two youngsters were differentiable from each other by higher and lower tones. Am I just imagining or is this possible? Thanks for reading this, Rick.

  6. Finding a great horned owl is on my bucket list.. I just love these incredible birds but have never been able to see one in the wild. I’ve heard them by my home in Sayville, NY.. Even went outside at 2am in my pajamas when I heard one across the street.. Couldn’t find it! It was probably watching me and laughing!

  7. I live in a great little town in the central California coast called Nipomo. I live in a fruit orchard on the edge of a cops of Eucalyptus trees. Very large trees! There seem to be at least four owls that I have spotted and they are hooting daytime and night. I don’t remember this kind of frequency before. Sadly, I have noticed lost kitty posters posted in the neighborhood. Not LOST kitties.

  8. One very late warm night here in NW Wisconsin, In late September ,,I enjoyed the company of a migrating Northern Saw-whet Owl. I was sitting out on my porch and a small owl alighted on one of the hangers for my pots of plants. I stayed very still watching him and soon he flew to a closer hanger. The dimmed outdoor house light over my shoulder provided just enough light to make out his beautiful feathers and intelligent eyes. Then he flew even closer as I remained still. We silently enjoyed watching each other for over an hour. What a great experience!

  9. I live in West Grove PA
    Southern Chester county
    I layed in bed wondering what this noise was over and over, after some quick research, I found out that it is this Great Horned Owl that you have written about..
    I have layed here for over an hour listening to him…
    How fascinating….

  10. Today, two owls adopted our cluster of Palm trees. They sat up there continuously for last 10 hours. I wonder if they are visiting or thinking about nesting in Sun Lakes, Arizona.

  11. I wonder if you can answer a question for me. I have had Great Horned Owls nesting in the woods behind my house for the past 7 or more years. I love how the pair hoot and “sing” to each other. A couple of weeks ago I saw the pair in two tall adjacent pine trees hooting. I also saw 2 hawks circling the area. After that I have not heard the owls. I was wondering if they laid their eggs and are quieter now or if the hawks get into the eggs or something else.

    I miss their hooting and hope all is well. For weeks I listen to them as I fall asleep. Last year I actually had one of the adults hunting in my yard while I heard the screeching of a hungry owlet.

    My question is…Is is normal for the owls to go quiet while rousting on their nest? It is February in Michigan (Grand Rapids area) and I think they lay their eggs around now. I am concerned about my owls and hope they are ok.

  12. do the owls stop hooting by the end of February? I have been hearing 2 of them for 3 months and now all of a sudden they have stopped?

  13. Wonderful story. I have a few questions. I have lived in my home with my mother for 15 years and never have we heard owls. This year around January 2016 WD started to hear the lovely songs of a owl hooting. We became more interested and started paying more attention and reading up on the amazing owls. One morning while leaving we saw it it flew directly on top of the barn next to my house and it was amazing. After that we have seen the owl a few more times. We are awaken every night between 12-2 and then 4-6 to hear the hoot hoot hooo. We are wondering if it’s a male or female and if it lives close as we would love to observe the owl while not disturbing it. We can hear this owl and it sounds like it’s right outside in the tree and then a faint call back witch seems to be about 7 blocks away. I’m wondering if u could answer a few questions or direct me in the right path. How large are the owls territory and if we hear the owl close is it most likely the owl is roosting close. And and all info will b greatly appreciated as we just want to learn as much as we can without disturbing the owl or owls. Thanks amber.

    1. Hi Amber,
      Many thanks for your comments and questions. Great horned owls are really fantastic birds, aren’t they? As far as the size of the owl’s territory: the territory size depends on density of prey in the area and also the owl population. If there is a lot of prey, owl territories are smaller. From your comment, it would appear you are in the midst of an owl territory but the nest could still be a fair distance away.

      Female great horned owls are larger than males, but it can be hard to tell if you just see one. A pair shares a territory. Watch closely and you may see two owls, or hear them calling back and forth to each other.

      Great horned owls are adaptable to humans — they can live in city parks, neighborhoods, farms, etc. Hopefully you will have many years of owl viewing near your home!


  14. I have a question-
    Last night-May22,2016-there was an owl hooting match in the woods adjoining our house- It went on for hours and sounded like more than a parliament arguing about the budget if you know what I mean. My dogs were very disturbed as well. I thought that horned owls mated in Jan. What was the commotion going on last night?
    Any ideas?

    1. Hi Gloria,
      Thanks for your comment. While great horned owls do mate in the winter, they are active year round. I have heard wild hooting throughout the spring. Owls pair up for life, and call to each other to reinforce the pair bond. So you can hear them at any time of year.

  15. Late to the “party”, but this is the info I was seeking.
    We moved into our new home in northern Idaho in February….and heard the beautiful, haunting hoots of a pair of GHO’s nearby. Then they stopped, but I heard nocturnal noises (chirps & chatter) which I later learned came from GHO’s as well. Turns out we came on the scene later in the courtship and are now entertained by the juveniles. Fascinating creatures. I enjoy taking a few minutes at the end of the day & eavesdrop on the feathered family.

  16. Wonderful article. I really enjoyed learning more than what I came looking for. 🙂 I live in N.Fla. just a walk from the Suwanee River. We have seen owls over the last 40 years on our farm but lately they are right in the trees around the house and just began 3-4 weeks ago, during the start of our hottest months. Well, all months are basically hot here in Florida. But I was just wondering why the change in location and season. As your son is probably walking and hooting now, I wish you all the best days with him. Spend every moment you can with him and treasure them all. Thanks again from Florida.

  17. I had some great Horned owls hooting in my yard at night…I mimicked their hoot f and they came even closer! It was very kool…they actually answered…

  18. I live in southern Saskatchewan Canada. We have a cabin on a small lake, we have great horned owls that have taken up residency here.
    I have seen them a few times and love hearing their hoots.
    Last night they were hooting back and forth it was magical!

  19. Beautifully written and full of insight. Thank you! And best wishes to you and your family! Happy Hooting!

  20. I am on the northern skirt of Houston Tx. Where I am is called Cypress Tx. I live in an old subdivision
    honored by trees that have been long before the homes that surround them. For the past 2 month at night began to hear the HOOT, HOOT, Hooooooing sound. I have lived hear for about ten years. First time for this wonderful but hard to pin-point sound. Often sounded like it was in my front yard but as soon as I would sneak closer it was the next yard, then the next, but actually down low in the yard. Not trees. At first I thought it was a sick or hurt animal. Soooo loud so close to the ground. Our area is known for hawks. Never this sound. With a Little more internet research I have found I have a great horned owl making a home on my street. Today is Oct. 30 and I am out once again chancing the sound. I find tonight it is mirrored by another. It’s a pair! I’ve read this is common, but I know most every squirrel, possum , raccoon, frog and of course hawk , and even the worst, blue Jay (The worst parents in the world by the way my opinion) in my yard so this is very exciting for me. Especially now that I know its not a sick crane or odd reptile. I know that sounds strange but the nights I followed the sound it was down low, just assumed it had to have 4 legs. I know now, it was getting food. Just unexpected. Youst to swooping hawks in the day, plus thought all owls these days were rare and fig newtons of the imagination unless you lived near a barn or standing next to a painting of one. Glad to know I’m wrong. Would like mention in our subdivision newsletter so every one can help the pair to have a happy home here and babies, but don’t know if calling attention would help do exactly that or the opposite . Regardless, as an individual that is called squirrel girl by those that luv me, named re-acquiring critters in my yard- raccoon (sketchy Geoff) rabbit-(jerry lewis) and possums too many to count, I’ve accidently pulled out of our outdoor kitty house to bring in kittys at night, would like to know anything at all that I/neighbors can do to help or improve there chances to survive. These days its hard for us humans to make it as a pair, seems like even tougher to be an Owl pair. Thank you in advance for any help or advice you can share.
    Cyndi Geary

  21. I live in Apple Valley, California, which is about halfway between Las Vegas and Los Angeles – we call it the high desert, as opposed to Palm Springs, which is low desert. About a month ago I started hearing owls hooting and finally discovered two Great Horned Owls sitting in a large palm tree in the yard. They appear to have their eyes closed until they hear the bell on my little poodle’s collar, then I can see their eyes following my dog. I would like to know if I should be concerned about them swooping down and grabbing my dog. I think at fourteen pounds, she is probably too big for them to carry off, but I’m sure they could quite a bit of damage if they tried to grab her. I really like hearing the owls every evening and want them to stay because they’ve been catching the rabbits that destroyed my lawn this year.

  22. I am curious as I have had this great horned owl outside my balcony window perched on a branch for the past three years. He comes and goes but every pre sunset and again around 11pm he perches on this same tree outside my window and hoots until I hoot back usually having to get up out of bed. Once he hears my hoot he seems to settle and flys off. If I don’t he keeps on going. It’s a strange ritual. Also sometimes we will come home in the evening and he’ll be on a different tree by our car at the front but by the time we get up our four flights he’s beat us to it around the back of our condo back on his tree hooting. Once I went to take garbage out I’m on fourth floor and he startled me as he was literally on my roof staring down at me. We hooted and he left. Can you shed light to any of this. My husband thinks he fancies me. I think it’s my wise old owl Dad watching over me?.

  23. My owl has been single for the past three years. Does he think that I am his mate with me mimicking his hoot? I am starting to wonder this now as he has been getting slowly closer to my balcony. Is it possible he thinks I am another owl? Also he seems to stick around all year. We live on a golf course in Florida and sometimes we take walks and he watches us but this is in daylight so he is in clear vision just staring down on us. As we walk around we look up and he’s moved to the roof watching us. Then he visits at night too and hoots outside our bedroom window until I hoot back. After that he will leave.. I have grown very attached to him and will miss him when we move to NC in March. Are there any Great Horned Owls in NC do you know?

  24. Matt, thank you for the “owl info”. I live in Kansas and have been listening at night to several owls.
    I am trying to distinguish which is male and which is female. Any insight on that would be great.
    I plan to listen for the rest of the winter and hopefully get to see some young ones next spring.
    Thanks Again, Debbi M.

  25. So why is it, if your inside and get binoculars, they would be staring back at you? Owls scare me i cant sleep that hoo hooo hooo hooooo hoooo, I’m sorry isnt majestic its FREAKY past 4 years tree right outside my window

  26. There is hooting going on up in New Smyrna Beach area. The two owls are in separate trees, but hoot back and forth around 9:30 at night . We have Hugh oak trees that survived Hurricane Matthew this Fall. Haven’t heard them much, but, I see poop under the tree. So, I guess she is nesting. I hope she is there. So exciting.

  27. Hi, we live in NW Arkansas in a Bentonville neighborhood and have a pair in our back yard. Our home is adjacent to a large field with a hedge row about 200 yards away. Clearly it is a good habitat with prey species nearby and we see coyotes, crows, hawks and an occasional Bald Eagle hunting there. I hunt turkeys, coyotes & deer in AR, KS, MO & NE and enjoy observing nature including owls but my wife does not have much contact with nature except for song birds she feeds. She is fascinated by the owls’ hooting but intolerant of hawks, roaming house cats, etc. preying on “her” birds including Bluebirds, Baltimore Orioles, et al. Maybe I should suggest that owls prey primarily on house cats?!

    I enjoyed your article! Thanks!

  28. I started hearing the hooting of owls in my backyard just today! I was surprised to hear it over and over especailly during the day. I finally saw one perched on a tree with a couple of crows bothering it. This all was so new and exciting to see. I googled owl howling and came upon your article. You have explained plainly why this is happening. Your article was so interesting and to the point of my experience today. So as I have walked out into the cold evening air and listened, I now know what is happening. Thanks for sharing this info.

  29. Matt,
    Do great horned owls come back year after year to the same hunting grounds once they
    have lived in a nest and hunted there? Do their young tend to come back to the same area where they were nested? We did hear growling one night wondering where it came from, or if we heard it at all. lol
    Thanks from a Mom in Illinois, whose kids didn’t have to go very far to find the owl palettes needed for their science report on owls! I love nature. It is a free show that captivated our children year round.

  30. The Great Horned are in the woods behind my house
    They have been there for a number of years
    An owlet fledged into our yard.
    We have a photo
    We had an excellent vantage point as it flew into a leaf-bare elm and called to its parents in a loud screechy voice for mealtime.
    We watched as it flew after a last visit from a parent beginning its life as a wild animal
    It had been ours for 2 1/2 weeks
    Beautiful large birds

  31. I liked this. I wake up many nights hearing two owls hooting back and forth to each one has a much deeper, almost calming hoot. while the otherone is higher pitched. I feel good when I hear them, but have a concern because I don’t know much about owls. I haven’t found their nest yet.

  32. Hi Matt… I can’t agree more the comfort it brings is wormth. I have always looked for owls but few times in life have I had the chance to see them. So it came as much surprise that while I was dosing off to sleep last night I heard the long beep hoots. One calling to another. I’ve never slept so happy in my life.

  33. This is good ! Our Local owl in brighton is behaving just as you said ! And we spotted his / her silloutte in a large oak tree through the binoculars . Thanks Matt
    Rick and Cecilia , brighton , Colorado

  34. This is a heartfelt and informational article. I’m glad I googled and found it. I hope the son you mention is beginning to toddle and explore like his father. We have a pair of owls in our backyard this year (we have before, but they seem particularly content this year). I live in a suburb but have a expansive tree lined backyard. I look forward to seeing them in the morning and in the evening. Every day when I come home from work, I sneak around my house to look for them before they flee. I love my dog, but he does sometimes scare them off. But, each day they’ve been returning. I, too, actually witnessed them mating just last week-twice! My husband finds them interesting too, but I think he humors me. My friends just don’t get it. These beautiful creatures are majestic and so highly adapted. The silent flight amazes me. I have mostly been wondering why they hoot as much as they do-sometimes long into the night if they aren’t disturbed. Anyway, I’m sorry to ramble…thank you for allowing me to express my mutual admiration for this amazing creature. And thank you for the information in your article.

  35. Hi Matt,
    Exactly one year ago, a stranger I met up with a stranger in the woods who noticed I was carrying a camera. She led me to a pair of fur trees where I discovered my newest feathered friend, a sleeping great horned owl. I call him Waldo as he blends in so perfectly with the tree bark, the only way to spot him is to catch a glimpse of his tufted ears. For 2 months I quietly visited Waldo and was able to capture some pretty amazing pictures. The icing on the cake was when I discovered his mate and an owlet in the same tree! I returned in December 2016 and was so happy to see Mom and Dad asleep in the same tree. But sadly, I have not seen them since. I know they never use the same nest, but these trees appeared to be their daytime resting area. I feel so sad and am worried something may have happened to them. Any thoughts?

  36. Thank you Matt for this article. I truly enjoyed reading it – especially the part where you express your joy upon waking in the middle of the night to the sound of a hooting Great Horned Owl! Two nights ago I too was awakened by this extrordinary blessed hooting that was coming from a few pines we have next to our bedroom window. I, like you, just lay there, snuggled under the covers, smiling and listening to this owl and thought “My what a wonderful world”!

  37. Hi Matt,I have had red tail hawks for the last 4 years in a huge pine tree in my back yard. I had a infrared camera put in the tree. 64 feet high the hawks continued refurbishing their nest it’s the middle of March I don’t think they are coming back this year,I’ve noticed on the camera a great horned Owl comes into the nest in the early morning hours an hoots an stays 15-20 minutes then flys away.Is it possible the owl may be using the hawk nest this year to raise a family this year?
    If so I’m in Ga next to Tennessee Georgia state line so when do owls start nesting? I hope one or the other
    start soon can’t wait to watch.
    Thank You Frankie:

  38. I live in Central Florida. The weather is starting to warm up a lot. I have heard the sound of an animal “growling” as I walk in the very early, still dark, mornings. The growling appears to be coming from a tree. It is a hollow, vibrato of a howl; not like the growl of a dog. At first I thought it might be some type of frog…I wanted to know if you think it could be an owl. Would they build a nest in a residential area?
    I have only seen an owl one time and that was in Panama.

    1. Hi Loretta, They will nest in residential areas, so it could be an owl. Thank you for the question!

  39. Beautiful story………I did not know they started so early in the season to nest! I awakened at 5 this morning to hooting; I loved it. This is before Thanksgiving. Saw a great horned owl here on NM for the first time in my life, right before dusk – very thrilled. I lived in central NJ for years and never saw one, but do miss the beautiful cardinals, which are not here, it seems.

  40. Pretty cool little article. Thanks
    I’ve been uo since 5 Am listening to one in a small
    motte of live oaks at the edge of our yard. Its stopped right at 7 AM just as hints
    of light appeared. This has been going on frequently since November 2017.
    Like you I was fascinated by owls apparently as a toddler.
    My mother told me many times my first words were “hoot ow”
    apparently because they had a bird picture book for me to look at.
    Thanks for a coll bit of writing.
    Will Fraser
    retired oil and gas geoscientist

  41. Hi Matthew,
    Thank you for the enjoyable article about Great Horned Owls. I had my interest in GHOs intrude (nicely) into my life when a pair set up housekeeping about 300 feet from my bedroom window.

    I believe that you might want to make a correction, however. Since I now have GHOs as neighbors, I saw only the female GHO sit on the nest and brood the eggs. Cornell University’s website notes that only the female Great Horned Owl has a brood patch on her underside, so the male is unable to warm the eggs. (I have seen this also on the Savannah Owl nest in 2016, now an Osprey nest at: Thus, Great Horned Owls each have a separate duty when raising a brood of owlets. The female sits the eggs and the male brings in the fresh meat.

    In response to the number of posts below that discuss how owls ‘sing’ with their hooting, I am sharing a website at the International Owl Center site that provides recordings of male and female GHOs. The males have deeper voices and the females voices are higher-pitched. They are similar to humans in their gender-based voice tonality. Their sounds tell their stories:

    from The International Owl center:

    Double check your facts about GHOs and egg brooding. It is the essence of good science. (It’s too bad that I cannot post a picture, I have some good ones of my neighbor owls.)



  42. Thank you for the informative article. I live in Monterey County on the former Fort Ord military base, which is now California State University Monterey Bay. We have two hoots owls here that are actively hooting now in January. They sit above near by roofs and hoot to each other. Last year I read that the hooting is to establish or defend terroritory – but now – after reading this article – I wonder if they are mates. Thoughts on establishment of territory hoots versus mating hoots? Whichever it is – it is pure magic to listen to.


  43. Hi

    I hope you are well.
    Your photos are really awesome.
    I need one of your photos for the cover art of my book. That photo is an owl with the title: “The Hooting Season: Enjoying Great Horned Owls” take on DECEMBER 8, 2014.
    Can I use this photo?
    This book is my poem.
    I have not received any money from the place for printing this book.


  44. I cannot find any information online regarding, “after mating, how long before a Great Horned Owl will lay her eggs?”

    Hope you can help?

    Regards, Wayne

  45. I am fortunate to have a horned owl roosting in my tree here in San Tan Valley Arizona my question is it’ll Roost there for about a week and then I won’t see him roosting in the tree for 3 or 4 days and then he is back for a week. So do they have different roost in there territory.

  46. Had trees removed and two approx. 3 week old horned owlets (judging by fluff and feathers) fell with the tree. The nest was probably up there 70′. They survived and local authority had us make a nest with a laundry basket and put it in a tree if the parents are around. The two of them fill the basket. A snowstorm is predicted. Haven’t seen adults yet. Have questions no one will answer and I don’t know what to do.

    1. Hi Laura, Thank you for your comment! I think your best option is to look for a wildlife rescue or rehabilitation center in your area and call them for advice. You might also try your state natural resources or wildlife department. Best of luck!

  47. Great a horned owls in my back yard.
    Two siblings stayed together on the tree for a few days without mom or dad.
    Now there is just one.
    Do they usually separate.?

  48. Great Article. I was looking for info on GHO as I have a nest in my yard in a 85 ft white pine tree. I live in Dix Hills, Long Island. These are amazing birds, however my wife is so concerned for our 14 lb pekapoo dog (pekingese poodle mix). There are two very large fledgling in the nest and visible on the branch all day long. They can been seen stretching their wings often. I have taken lots of photos and I am fascinated with these birds. So they won’t reuse the nest again? Will the fledglings fly off to a new area to inhabit or will they stay in the area?

  49. Just heard some hooting in my new house in DE (mid-June). Two males. Might they be planning their territory now? I live near Bombay Hook National Wildlife Reserve.

  50. We have had a pair of Great Horned Owls living on our farm for longer than 15 years. This year however a barn owl showed up and seems to be harrassing the birds…The Great Horned calls for her mate all times of day and night, I see them often in the day. I am not sure if they are both here still, or if the Barn owl has been sucessful in taking over the shed in which i see them most often. I love my Great Horned Owls and would hate to think of them being pushed out of their home. Is there any way i can tell what is really going on?

  51. My home backs up to farm land, vineyards in California. We have 3 large great horned owls that perch during the night on the top of a few telephone poles. There hoot is quite loud. How far will an owl travel at night to hunt? Is it likely they live close or do they travel far from home ?

  52. The owls in Upstate South Carolina, just a bit south of Charlotte Douglas International, have been our neighbors ever since we moved here around 10-years ago. Along with many other interesting birds, the Great Horned Owl and the Coopers Hawk, have always lived in or near our property on Lake Wylie. The hawks are visible in the daytime, so I get to enjoy them visually more often than the owls. They will sometimes just sit in the trees around our yard and watch me as I come and go.
    But back to the owls. It’s October 30th, just in time for Halloween, and it seems that the owls communications with each other have really peaked. Even as I write this, in the early morning hours I have enjoyed their calling back and forth to each other. Sounds like a chorus of 3-4 different birds this morning. What a treat!

  53. This morning, in my back yard, there were two owls! It was wonderful! They sat there for a minute, and then took off. I could still hear them, after they left. I’m hoping they will nest somewhere real close. I got so very close to one! They were great horned with their tufted ears, and hooting. Anything I can do, to get them back?

  54. Hi my name is Nancy I live in a sub division of track homes in New Mexico, 2 back yards behind me in a very big tree a horned owl lives during the day. Has been there all year. now that the leaves are gone it is no longer there but I will see it and its mate sometimes on the nearby roof tops in the evening and early morning. Do they usually find another tree to live in winter ?

  55. Heartwarming article. Exactly what I needed to read. I am very melancholy tonight. I am watching a crackling fireplace on my screen and wanted to hear some owls. I was on my way to find an owl hooting site when Matthew’s article popped up. I love the hoot of the owl. Only once have I heard an owl where I live in metro Denver.

    Again this article has given me great comfort tonight – my dog of 16 years moved on this evening.

    Well off I go to find my hooting owls. Don’t you just love how technology has enabled us to have these experiences when we really need it? I do….

  56. Do owls eat chickens my chickens keep getting killed the nights I hear them hooting

  57. We had a mating pair of great horned owls in our Arizona Mobile park for a few years. Last year I believe something happened to one of them early in the season so there was no nesting activity. We were lucky enough to capture many previous pics from 2 years before and the pair successfully raised 3 young. The last 2 weeks an adult owl has been hooting at dusk and again at dawn. He or she perches in the same area as 2 years ago leading me to believe it’s one of the senior owls. Is it safe to say that this magnificent bird will not mate again. It still hoots away at the old nesting tree, but have only seen 1 and thinking it will soon leave the area again like it did last year. Thanks and enjoyed this site for a great read.

  58. Is it true that it is bad luck to see an owl in the daytime? I saw one today at 9:00 A.M. on our roof, not moving muscle. He was just staring at the ground. It was broad daylight. It was very strange.

  59. I live in the country now and have a wooded area behind my house. There was a pair of Great Horned owls calling to each other about 4:30 this morning. Very close. With all there is to worry about in the artificial world we have created for ourselves it was a reassuring sound of nature.

  60. Hi Matthew, my name is Victor Haynes and I live in Kitty Hawk, N.C. My home is near the Kitty Hawk Woods Preserve and only miles from The Nature Conservancy Nags Head Woods. Last night Great Horned owls were hooting it up near my home. It is always a thrill for me as well. This morning I set out to look for signs of them to no avail but having read your article I now know more of what to look for. Keep up the good work and congratulations. Regards, Victor

  61. I’ve been hearing hooting by my house and I put up i-ness for them hoping that they will come to it

  62. I live in Fairbanks, Ak. I have been enjoying hearing what I believe to be, great horned owls the last two weeks, early in the morning.

  63. Hello i live in Bellingham WA about 20 minutes from Canada.
    over the last few months i have been lucky to hear hooting coming from a few different tees on my block.
    at first i thought it was a large group of owls, but after some research i have learned that it is more likely a pair of great horned owls. calling back and fourth to each other.
    one has a deeper hoot than the other. they are usually very hooty around 4 am.
    the sound is deep and awesome. i can actually feel the hahhhoo hoot!
    its nice to know Im not the only night owl in my neighborhood.

  64. We had a Great horn nest in one of tall trees , We watched and took photo, w
    When her ends hatched, we herd chick sounds. One day we saw a chick corset out of nest and it could not get back, Mom was goon the chick fell trying to get back in nest. It was 65 ft drop and it did not live. Bent day. another chick was out of nest but it managed to get back.- Mom got a stray cat ot pet for food. It was big and it lade across the nest. Did not see chicks again but heard them. Then crow came and the atom mom keep leading them away from nest. This went on for two days. The a neibor started mowing and mom move away. She flew south and goon for hours. Next day the Ded cat and chicks were goon!
    Did she move ther ? To a place with less noise ? will the Great horn owl do this?

    Would have loved watching then grow,
    Dante and Patti, south OK / Texas border

  65. Lots of them here in AZ. A pair have been nesting for 22 years in the neighbors tree in their back yard. We see them every day. One year there was 3 babies. One baby this year. A couple of weeks ago, I found one of them in our pool drowned. I am so sad. My question, will the remaining bird find a new mate? It is still feeding the young bird. I have a beautiful picture of the pair.

  66. We have had a pair of great horned owls on our farm for over 20 years. Recently one of the pair was killed after flying into a fence. What will happen to the survivor? Will it stay around, look for another mate, or grieve and pass away? I live in Kentucky.

  67. My wife and I love sitting on our back porch having coffee early in the morning….and listening to the owls communicate with each other about where they’re going to hunt tonight, or perhaps calling on potential mates ? but this morning (8/31/19) was special. No fewer than five distinct “hoots” or calls were heard in the woods at the end of our cul-de-sac…in our Central Virginia Subdivision! We love listening to the sound of the various birds – even though we can’t see them! A great way to begin our Saturday morning I think!

  68. Since about August (2019) we have had the wonderful pleasure of having two great horned owls in a mesquite tree in our walled-in back yard – a smallish enclosure on 3.5 acres. I assume they are male and female. They don’t seem to mind when I water my plants or hang clothes on my clothesline strung between two mesquites. I say a few words to them.
    One morning I had trouble figuring out what I was seeing as I looked up at the large owl. It was the back half of a rabbit, and I was seeing the hind legs hanging down. The owl munched on it much of the day , and I collected two owl pellets for neighbor’s grandson to “explore.”
    At times the two sit side by side. At times one is on a limb above the other. Other times they are in different areas of the mesquite. I will be forlorn when they are no longer around, as I “check” on them several times a day. Owls are a new and lovely experience for me, here in the Arizona-Sonora Desert, Tucson. 10-16-19

  69. I have a Mr and Mrs owl in my tree outside my window. They like to sit next to each other.
    I can’t imagine they will mate? How can they ever do it?
    There is no nest in my yard so not sure where they will find one.
    I did wonder about something I saw below my tree like a little gray bundle. Now you answered my question about what it was.
    I am really interested in watching my owls.

  70. I am only an occasional bird watcher but this fall I spotted two “flying cats” which dropped into my neighbor’s yard at dusk. As they emerged and teetered on a wire, I realized their silhouette was the great horned owl. For several weeks my birder friend and I observed them in a tree across an open area from my house. Every day they showed themselves just before sunset. After some fluttering around on the branches, they would hoot for a few minutes and then fly usually to lower branches or a fence and then down into a ditch that was usually on the dry side.

    I have heard them during the night and in the morning before sunrise. A few nights ago, they called for a long time, over an hour, and before sunrise. Now all seems quiet. Have they left? Have they moved? I live in Houston and the leaves have just started to fall. Will they seek to perch in pines instead?

    This owl encounter has been a fascinating experience for me.

  71. The night after my mother died, 1.2.06, about 2AM, I got up to go out to the barn to open a gate for a horse that was locked in a stall. It was very cold and still and there was fresh snow on the ground. After letting the horse out into the paddock with the other horses we all stood quietly together in the darkness and listened to the low hooting of a great owl and the high shriller answer of another. It was one of the most profound comforting moments of my life. I will never forget it.

  72. How does artificial lighting affect the breeding and nesting behavior of Great Horned Owls?

  73. I have 2 great horned owls who just started all this hooting back and forth. Its Jan 3, 2020 and we’ve been having warmer than usual weather for Southern Indiana
    Do you think climate change is affecting owls? And how long does this hooting go on? I need some sleep! LOL

  74. We watched an unusual owl display morning. A great horned owl, perched about 100 feet from our upstairs window, would duck his head low as he gave the deep Hoot. Simultaneously something fairly large, white with a dark top projected up beside him. Initially we suspected a second bird, but the repetition and no other movement by The Thing changed our minds. It might have been a wing but there was no resemblance other than colour. Why the deep bow and the projection? We have never noticed this in any other observations.

  75. What time of day or night will a Grey horned owl will hoot hoot. Mostly during the or at night?

    1. Thanks for your question. They most often hoot at dawn, dusk and night. I have heard a few hoots in the middle of the day, but it’s pretty rare.

  76. I as a falconer have had numerous Horned Owls in my life. In January I always listen for the males booming hooting calls and then the female hooting back.These are owls that will kill and eat almost prey bigger than they are.I hunted Jack rabbits with a large female for a season and then released her back to the wild.I love these birds for the noble presence and fierce attitude they have..You can hear them calling in the breeding season while in the forest or parks near you, cemeteries are also a great place to see them.
    (Bubo virginianus) The Great horned owl..Listen for them in your neck of the woods.

  77. I also enjoy hearing the owls with the conversation and had to find out what they might be talking about it’s really interesting

  78. Read this several times and loved it more each time. I love owls, great horned being my favorite. Do u know why I am hearing one mid day at 1 pm here today? I’m trying to figure it out

    1. Hi Theresa,
      Glad you enjoyed this story. Owls mainly hoot at dawn and dusk, and during the night, but they do occasionally hoot during the day. I hear them in my own neighborhood occasionally. I hope you continue to enjoy the owl show! Matt

  79. We have been blessed to have a mating pair of Great Horned owls in our yard for many years now. We always look forward to first hearing them, then seeing them and then discovering the location of their nest for another year. Of course the highlight is to see those little white balls appear above the upper edge of the nest and then trying to decide it their is one, two or three little ones. In our experience we have only had three little ones once and were able to capture some wonder photos because of the location of the nest that year. I usually set up a camera so we can watch the activity at the nest from inside on our computer. Amazing to see them interact with each other and the feeding process is from mother to baby is a procedure to behold. We are blessed to have them in our yard again at this time and nesting. We will wait to see the results in the days ahead.

  80. My husband and our neighbors recently were able to watch a Great Horned Owl sit 2 eggs in a large oak tree in our front yard. We live in Tx. and the climate in March was already getting mild. The 2 little owlets were so fun to watch. I read where the mother owl doesnt do much to make a nest and one of the babies fell out and my next door neighbor got his extendion ladder and with gloves and a box he carefully put it back in the nest while mama was gone. She came back and stayed with them but overnight sometime she either pushed it out or did it by accident. It didnt make it. The second one fell out twice and my neighbor put it back and she always came back to be with it and it was eating a dead bird provided by one of the parents but last Tuesday we had a bad storm. I was worried it would get blown out or washed out by heavy rain but my gut told me let mama take care of it. Well it was on the ground dead the next morning. Probably about 3 weeks from learning to fly. It was already stretching its wings. Storm was bad, very heavy rain. Wondered did mama stay with it or was it on its own. I was just sick and still think about it. Should we have gotten it out of the tree and protect it from the storm? I thought of getting it out of the tree if it would let me and taking it to a lady who takes owls and hawks when young or injured and gets them where they can be on their own. I feel bad I didnt help the little owlet. Miss watching it put on a show.

  81. I am awake at 2 AM because a Great Horned Owl has been visiting near my kitchen garden below my bedroom window. For two or three nights over the last few weeks, there was only one, quite loudly hooting.

    Tonight it was joined by a second owl, who hoot was deeper and more muffled sounding. I had thought they must be mating, but the time of year is wrong, isn’t it? It’s May 4 in Connecticut, quiet and peaceful during pandemic lockdown.

    We live near a swamp, but I think they’re drawn to this corner of the house because it’s where I feed my little dachshund who prefers meat scraps to dog kibble. She leaves dog kibble strewn about, and has probably drawn mice, who have in turn caught the attention of GHOs.

    Do they hunt in pairs? I would swear it’s a mating couple. Would they be late due to the odd weather?

  82. I really enjoyed that! I’m in the Bay Area SF. Where do you think I can find them here?

    1. I would listen in the evenings in parks and any forested areas. It seems like the trees around Fort Baker might be good, but I’d check any forested patch you can find.

  83. Thank you so much for sharing your article. I love wildlife and respect it on all levels. I came across your article while researching owls in georgia to increase my knowledge level of the beautiful bird.
    When I got to the part about your son from there to the end of the article I had chill bumps and watery eyes and a comforting smile on my face.
    God bless you and your family. Keep up the good instincts for wildlife.

  84. Here in Scottsdale AZ we’ve been fortunate to see two seasons of newborns. Today we noticed one of the adults return to the nest in one of our palms! Hooting has increased over the last week.

    The “children” have been keeping us entertained in our community. The owls walk on our grass or paths, sit on our tennis court lights at dusk and show us some terrific flying skills. Of course, we get buzzed but it’s playful.

    One of our owners had her picture published in Phoenix magazine

    They are very comfy here & a huge source of happiness during Covid. We are thrilled they are back

  85. I feel the same visceral joy and comfort when I hear the owl couple call to each other early every morning !!! Nancy

  86. We have 3 great horned owls here on our property in Marana, Az. They took over a hawks nest. They’ve since laid eggs on the fonts of a palm tree also. They also rest in the bottle trees. I watch one from my ramada every morning, resting,, I guess?So awesome to hear their hoots. Thanks for the article. Very interesting.

  87. I have an interesting story about the Great Horned Owl. I was looking up owls on my computer and decided to listen to the owl calls (on computer). One call was a loud shriek that seemed to reverberate around the room. I played it again as it was so haunting. That night at two in the morning, I went out onto my balcony, in a heavily wooded area near Lake Ontario, and heard the very loud call of a Great Horned Owl which had never called before. I’ve lived in this area for over 30 years, previously in a house, and have never heard this call (but did have a Saw Whet living in my back yard). I believe the Great Horned Owl was in the vicinity and because of the extraordinary hearing ability of this owl heard my computer and was now answering. Isn’t that amazing?!

  88. Matthew we live in a development in Milford DE and have been blessed with the hooting of owls for months but tonight we saw them, could not very well watch for long because they were sitting on the roof of a villa and I don’t think people would appreciate us doing that, but was so exciting!

  89. Over the years, we have seen and heard numerous Great Horned Owls in the woodlot behind our house, and in the large trees in the cemetery across the road.
    Lately, (for a couple of weeks) we have been hearing a great horned owl calling constantly, all day long without pause, in the woodlot behind our house. Than, after dark, the frequency dies off and it only calls occasionally. I have been trying in vain to find out why it might it doing this. I read in your blog that around October, they begin setting up their territories. Would a young one be calling all day long to do this? We are in Southwestern Ontario, Canada

  90. My house is backed up to woods in front and behind. I love to hear the haunting sound of the hooting owl. It starts in October and then I hear them until the weather gets cold. I’ve only seen a pair of Great Horned Owls once in a tall pine in the woods behind my house. This year however, I started hearing them in June, always at night from about midnight on. I will awake to their hooting sound. They fascinate me!

  91. I live in the city of Sun Prairie Wi. We have Great Horned owls living in our neighborhood. A few years ago they nested in a squirrel house in a maple tree in my neighbors back yard. They had three young which one fell out of the nest after it fell apart, and I told the neighbor to call raptor rescue. The raptor rescue guys came out and took the two remaining live young along with an orphan from some other area and put them in an apple basket mounted where the original nest was located. The owls adapted to the new nest, the young all grew up. I noticed one morning that the young were taking a bath in my small bird baths on my back deck. Big bird to be in a small dish. I bought one of those 48 inch kid pools, filled it half full and the owls used it frequently in the mornings. I never thought that a big fluffy bird like that would take a bath, but they do. Kid pool is gone but i keep dishes of water out there for them and the other birds. Lots of hooing last couple of weeks again. Got some great pics.

  92. Thank you for all your information. I have a question. I have built a Barn Owl house to place and hopefully attract them. I do live in Great Horned Owl territory. Do these owls live harmoniously in the same areas or will I have a hard time attracting Barn Owls due to the Great Horned Owls that already claim this area?

  93. I am wondering if the juveniles “grow out” of their shriek? Do they just finally quit calling for food? Our local young one is still calling, albeit, getting quieter or hoarser, but still calling on December 6. Any research about this?

  94. Upstate SC
    I had the pleasure, again this evening, of hootie hoots capturing my attention. I could hear them above the tv and space heater. I silenced them both and listened for a while. Then opened the front door, and to my surprise, another was returning those hoots I could so plainly hear. I stood there for several minutes with the door cracked, even recorded some on my phone so my husband could listen when he got home from work.
    A few years ago, while on an evening walk, one swooped out of the tree in front of us and over our heads. The wing span was amazing. What a spectacular sight to see.

  95. Thanks Matthew, while not a huge fan of winter, I do love listening to the great horned owls hooting all night long. Occasionally I get to watch one take wing, which was the treat I experienced at dawn today.

  96. I’ve had some lovely conversations with owls. I feel such honor when they respond to me

  97. It’s amazing to listening them. Middle December they started here and I love listening “ their chat “ they are on the tree near my bedroom. Thank you for your information on them

  98. As I lay here at 2:OO, in a wooded area outside of Flint, I hear the call of the great horned owl. A crisp, calm night in mid January, with only a dusting of snow, I am feeling that the hunting will be good for my friends. Thanks for all you do in educating us about the wild. Your easy flowing writing style has been a joy to discover. Your new fan,

    Bill Polk

  99. It’s 7 years later but I only just stumbled onto this, as I have recently discovered a pair of great horneds that seem to be setting up to nest right near my house! This is so beautifully written!

  100. I loved your article. We have a couple of Great Horned Owls that live in the tree behind us and they are amazing!

    Thank you for sharing!


  101. We were fortunate to observe a male and female great horned owls mating on a nearby rooftop just at dusk last evening. We were not sure which were male and female but have since learned the female is larger. This occurred after a couple weeks of hearing the hooting, often all during the night. It sounded like there were two, one hooting being softer than the other. It was quite a thrill to see them. Glad this is a retirement community with no impressionable young persons around.

  102. Great article! We have been listening to the ? outside our home in Scottsdale AZ for well over a month so far this year. They hoot at dusk and start up again around 3 AM, continuing until sun-up. They sit on our rooftop and look out over the Boulder-littered terrain. They leave many “presents” which require a good deal of scrubbing. We have yet to find their nest or see baby owls this year!

  103. I live in Scottsdale Arizona and I have great horn owls who stay in my tree everyday. Usually I only have one, but this last week it is two. One comes in at sunrise and leaves at sunset. Now I have two and it’s April . I believe it’s a pair but there is no nest here. Do you think they have already hatched their eggs? I believe that it’s not always the same owl that is here, would a male and female switch off sitting on nest, and take turns resting during the day in my tree?

  104. Thank you, I enjoyed this so much…I heard Hooting and started calling back. My husband kept telling me It was hooting a Morning Dove. We have lots where we live. But they kept hooting back at me…We are so lucky, we had two baby Great Horned Owls born in our tree. When one of the parents came flying out of our tree in the early evening, my husband said, okay you were right, they are Owls. I was fortunate enough to get a friend who does wildlife photography to come and get a couple great pictures the night before they flew the Coop!… I can only hope they may come back near our property next year. I miss them!

  105. I just heard 2 GH owls hooting back & forth. I usually only hear them in Dec-Jan.
    Is it unusual to hear them in May?

    1. While great-horned owls hoot more frequently in December and January, you can hear them hooting at any time of year. Thanks for your question.


  106. How long does a male and female pair of great hornedals stay together during the mating season

  107. We have watched a family of horned owls in our small wood behind our house here in the desert of Western Arizona. We have watched the small ones grow up. The two we watched even started a
    dance when it was time for dinner. The dance consisted of rotating their head three times to
    the right, then three times to the left. Then they did three reps of a squat, ending in a slide to the right, and spreading their wings. And the “owly wobble” was born. Amazing.

  108. I share your love for the owls too! My mother had them all over our house in the form of knick knacks and pictures. Guess thats where it started. I now live on one acre in an 1850 farmhouse w/summer kitchen and huge norway spruces that line the front of our property. We often can call them in right to the yard. Its early August and we have 2 that visit nightly, and i wonder is it a female and male or a father teaching the son how to hunt? Could you possibly tell me your thoughts? we are in central Pennysylvania. Thank you

    1. Hi Carmen,
      Thanks for your comment and question. It is difficult to know for sure. I have been seeing young owls locally, and the adults do seem to hang around. Soon they will move to set up their own territory. I would see if you could get a look to see if they are young. The young look fuzzier and have less developed “ears” than the adults. Have fun!


  109. I was so glad to find this !! The other night there was quite the ruckus in the woods behind our home. I had my husband come out to listen. It sounded like 2 or more owls going at it. Later that night I heard just one. I am going to say that it was 2 great horned owls. It was so cool. We haven’t heard them since but I hope they are out there !!!

  110. I live in the country and stepped outside tonight and listened to three whoot owls calling and visiting back and forth for a very long time…I had no idea they were so loud….extraordinay!

  111. Matthew,
    I just found your site its Dec 6 2021 you wrote your article 2014 and your son was going to be born soon maybe he is 8 yrs old now .
    I woke up at 4:00 am heard the Hoot hoot hoot at first didnt know what or where sound was coming from
    i realized it was an Owl.
    I opened back window and up on top of telephone post i could barely see its outline but sure could hear.
    Must be same owl heard few yrs ago up on same post
    Thank you for your article I enjoyed reading. I realize you might not respond because of yrs ago writing

    1. Hi Nancee,
      Thanks for writing. I am glad this story continues to resonate. My son turns 7 in a couple of weeks. He loves owls and other wildlife, and loves discussing nature facts at every opportunity.


  112. Thank you, for this great article on wonderful owls, and enjoying all the good comments too, fascinating!
    Hope your family is well and enjoying owls in your footsteps : )
    We are in southwest suburbs of Boston, Mass. hearing lots of owls this fall
    I use the bird sound id on my phone, using the Merlin bird app. Love it! So far it has aided us to id 3 kinds of owls–Great Horned, Barred, and Eastern Screech.
    Last night heard two Horned that were calling from a short distance apart.
    When life gives you insomnia, Mother Earth provides owls!
    Stay safe, everyone, and Peace!!! <3

  113. I was just in Palm Springs, CA, for a conference. There were GHOs hooting throughout the grounds of the resort. It was weird to see the owls in palm trees!

  114. Last year this time, my husband and I were enjoying hearing the horned owls every night. This year we haven’t heard any. What could be the problem. Could it be that a housing development has sprung up near us?

  115. I’ve been shooting photographs of all kinds of wildlife in the last 6 years since I’ve started taking photos. I haven’t had the chance to photograph any great horned owls in upstate New York. I know they’re here I have seen photos from other people. I would greatly appreciate any information on great horned owl nests places to locate them or sightings. Please feel free to email me and let me know if you have one and maybe I can help you in return with other wildlife. I’m very respectful of other people’s property 55-year-old male. My email is thank you very much

  116. My husband and I live in the country several miles north of Cibolo Creek in Bulverde Tx. We have lived here over 30 years, and are absolutely thrilled every time we spot or hear a great horned owl. They are so massive and majestic! Starting at midnight this morning, under bright moonlight, we heard the repeated HOO-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo of the owl. A spiritual event!

  117. A horned owl has overwintered i our attic here in Fairview NC.
    When she hears us she greets us with a beautiful “ooh- hop”

  118. I have a longhorned owl nesting close to my bedroom window. It’s nest is large, and attracts the attention of black crows and other birds. It seems to communicate with me day and night. When it hoots, I mimic It’s hooting sound and our hooting back and forth can last for 30 minutes and longer at times. I have watched crows (10 or so at times) surround the nest in the mornings, and they bark at the owl as if to instigate a fight or to get the owl to leave the nest. I believe she’s protecting her eggs. She just ignores them. I have to make noises to get the crows to fly away. The owl seems to appreciate that! She is so beautiful and last year I video taped her a few times. She looks straight at me taping her. This is the 3rd year she’s comes and sits in one of the trees. But this time, she built her nest right outside of my window. I posted a video and a couple pictures of her. It was the first time I’ve ever seen an owl outside of in books and movies. My Grandchildren loves it. It was the first time thatany friends on Facebook had ever seen a live owl!

  119. Mr. Miller,
    Your comments & interest in wildlife is extremely pleasing; wanting your son to enjoy the same sounds as the horned owl, wonderful. I’ve been listening to an owl for about 2 weeks now, wishing my grandsons were here to listen with me. He refers to our home place as “coming to the forest”, it’s just a country home in north Alabama. I wanted to be sure of which owl I was listening to and that’s when I came across your article that helped me confirm it’s certainly a horned owl! Thank you!

  120. What a summer it’s been! An adult and 2 juveniles took up residence out my back door. I’ve had the joy of closely observing their behaviors on a daily basis…from watching them trying to keep their balance while the adult brings prey to the younger ones, constant screaming all night for food in early summer, some rather intimidating stares at me complete with bobbing, to the lessening screams in later summer as they learned to hunt for themselves. One thing that was so surreal was watching a feather drift down after one of them was grooming itself. Never have I seen anything in my life move so slowly through the air as though it were happening on a planet with minimal gravity. It was as though time stopped. A beautiful experience. Now at the end of Sept, I believe the youngsters have left the area, but listening to hooting that is beginning to interrupt the very quiet dark nights leaves me absorbing the distinctive sound of these magnificent creatures to the very basic core of my being, as though the universe is reminding me of the incredible experience it is to be alive and to humbly receive the tremendous gifts of nature and the wild, untamed beauty it offers from the tiny bunnies, to the gorgeous fox, the powerly large deer and many other species, to this overwhelmingly awesome predator, the Great Horned Owl.