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Name: Dora H.
Status: other
Age: 50s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Saturday, May 18, 2002


Question:
I have never heard an owl hoot during the day. Standing outside at 3 this afternoon, I heard an owl in repetitions of2 short hoots and 1 more. He did this 5 or six times. I could not see the owl, but it was an unusual sound. I can remember as a child hearing that an owl hooting during the day was a sign of something. It might be an old folk lore, but do you knkow what it is?


Replies:
Dora,

I spent two years studying Great Horned and Barred Owls using radio telemetry techniques. The idea that owls are only active at night is a major misconception. Most owls are active hours prior to sunset and may be active well into the morning hours. I have heard owls vocalize many, many times during the day. This is not an unusual occurence at all, especially in the spring. During the spring in most areas of North America, owlets have hatched in March for some species. The young become active in April and may give out junvenile calls during the day, for like human youngsters, they will not take their nap! (Just kidding!) Junveniles are being fed by the parents and are frequently vocal during the day and night to get fed! I have witnessed adult owls become very excited and vocalize apparently to locate their families. The young move around sometimes without telling their parents! :-)

As far as folklore, I have no clue.

Steve Sample


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