Monday, April 7, 2008

We've got Owl's


Charlotte, NC is home to a booming Owl population.

The Barred owl (a.k.a. The Hoot Owl) has been making its home here in the Queen City for years, despite steady growth, development, urban sprawl and deforestation.
There is an interesting article here.

Ecologists can't figure it out. Usually in growing, booming cities the Owl population decreases. Not here. Charlotte has an abundance of owls.
We bought a house in an old neighborhood with lots of trees.
One of the older neighborhoods with big yards and lots of trees. Tall trees, small trees, Pines, Oaks, Maples Elms etc.
We have all sorts of birds, bats, squirrles, rabbits, insects...and of course the owls.
Right outside the master bedroom window we have 2 very tall, old trees.
Every night, without fail the Owls let loose. I know we have at least 2.
When I first heard it, I thought it was a goat, eating a cat, stomping on a chihuahua. It was the wierdest thing I had ever heard. I told my mom and dad about it and they said "Oh we have those too, they are owls!".
I thought owls were the soft little who-who-who, like you hear on TV and in the movies.
WRONG! Nowhere near that. (some are, just not MY owls)
These Barred Owls (hoot owls) screech. It is the wierdest thing. You can hear it here. Click on typical call, or variation call. Now it sounds pretty close, just imagine shorter yippier hoots, with a bit of a bleat added to it.

I guess I can get used to it, I kind of tuned them out, sort of like the train that passes through town and blows its horn at 3am.(But thats another blog...)
These owls may be nocturnal, but they definately are NOT shy. they roost wherever they feel like it, many times out in the open for the world to see. At night they will just come down and sit on out driveway, they will fly to the end of the streets and roost on the signposts. They have no fear and dont care.
So despite the fact they scared the crap out of me when I first moved in they can stay. I havent had to set out mouse traps for 4 years! Thanks to my little friends who live outside my window.
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