Name: Nancy H.
We have woods behind our home and there are a lot of
hawks. I do not know what kind, we live in the northeast, a Pittsburgh
suburb. Recently, one hawk calls at almost all night long and it sounds
like another one from a distance is calling back. They out back and
forth all night long. I love these birds and the noise is not the issue,
my family is curious as to why they are doing this. It has not happened
before this summer. I do not know if they are nesting behind our home,
but I did not think they cried out all night and am hoping it is not sick
or something is wrong.
These calls are happening probably from the end of April (depending on your latitude in North America) right into the summer months, and this is not the call of a hawk, but you describe what can only be one or more juvenile Great Horned Owl(s) demanding food from its two parents. Good years will bring two juveniles from a nest, but it is more common that only one will survive into adulthood. Juveniles do not have the adult "hoot", if you will, but a screeching call that would rival any hawk in intensity. This goes on all night. Actually the juveniles are active about three in the afternoon and will continue to be active in the early morning hours, but the adults are just plain worn out!! Calling in the daylight hours will bring the mobs of crows to harass the juveniles so calling during the day is not usually observed.
I hope this helps.
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Update: June 2012