After all of the “excitement” (i.e., stress, adrenaline, and existential terror) of the last few weeks, it was time for some “domestic down time” today. Groceries. Changing the sheets. Cleaning up some crap in the yard.
I was folding clothes this evening when I heard this guy again:
I’ve heard “him” (I’m assuming – I don’t have a clue if it’s a male or female and the Audubon Society website says they both hoot) a dozen or so times over the past month or two. By his call (identified here) I’m betting he’s a Great Horned Owl. (I would also note that by their call, we also have Screech Owls. I’ve heard that sound on several occasions as well.)
One of the coolest times I’ve heard him was last Friday night after the worst of that evening’s fires had been put out. I went out just to get a sense of what was going on with the fire. It was much quieter than it had been. I was listening and still hearing sirens and helicopters and jets coming out of LAX and jets coming into Burbank and it stank of smoke but all the while our owl friend was calm as can be, marking his territory with his hoots, across the street and down the hill about half a block.
He’s loud. The first time I heard him he was in one of the trees in a neighbor’s yard and I could hear him inside, even over the television. Tonight I didn’t have the television on (had to concentrate on folding those socks, couldn’t afford the distraction!) and when I heard him I figured he was back in our yard or the neighbor’s yard. Nope, he was five or six houses down the street and I could still hear him in the house.
He’s big. Once or twice when he’s been in our tree or one of the immediate neighbors’ trees I’ve gone out to listen and spooked him into flying off. I only see him by moonlight, but he’s got to have at least a five foot wing span, maybe six. I’m obviously no owl expert, but I would think at that size he’s not looking for rats, mice, or squirrels, but more likely rabbits, stray cats, or baby raccoons.
I’m happy to have the owl in our neighborhood and hope he stays around. His hooting is a sound that brings me joy and calm.
Probably not so much for the rabbits, stray cats, and baby raccoons.