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Night Sounds, Pt 1 – Barred Owls

//Night Sounds, Pt 1 – Barred Owls

Night Sounds, Pt 1 – Barred Owls

Barred Owls (Strix varia) have a very wide-spread distribution throughout the Eastern United States, Eastern Canada and many areas in the West.

I have always held the belief that serious bigfoot researchers should become acquainted with not only the animals in their research areas but also birds and especially owls. Barred Owls make many vocalizations. Other than the familiar “who cooks for you” they also do screams, cackles and monkey like sounds. From the following recording you also notice how active and vocal they can be in the daylight hours.

While on expedition I have been surprised how many researchers are not acquainted with the sounds that Barred Owls most commonly use. Screams are one such vocalization that people confuse with other animals.

(Hopefully I will be able to add a picture to this page.)

The typical Barred Owl scream can be heard in the following sound clips:

File # 47 – 2010.04.15 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 26 – 2009.05.22 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 24 – 2009.05.07 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 01 – 2007.01.04 – Barred Owl # 1

Single or double calls can be heard in the following sound clips:

File # 46 – 2010.03.16 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 38 – 2009.05.29 – Barred Owl # 3
File # 37 – 2009.05.29 – Barred Owl # 2
File # 25 – 2009.05.10 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 18 – 2009.04.30 – Barred Owl # 4
File # 14 – 2009.04.27 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 13 – 2009.04.23 – Barred Owl # 2
File # 11 – 2009.04.22 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 09 – 2009.04.18 – Barred Owl # 2
File # 07 – 2009.04.11 – Barred Owl # 1

Below is a listing of Barred Owls that I have recorded here in Central Illinois.

File # 47 – 2010.04.15 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 46 – 2010.03.16 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 45 – 2009.06.05 – Barred Owl # 4
File # 44 – 2009.06.05 – Barred Owl # 3
File # 43 – 2009.06.05 – Barred Owl # 2
File # 42 – 2009.06.05 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 41 – 2009.05.30 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 40 – 2009.05.29 – Barred Owl # 5
File # 39 – 2009.05.29 – Barred Owl # 4
File # 38 – 2009.05.29 – Barred Owl # 3
File # 37 – 2009.05.29 – Barred Owl # 2
File # 36 – 2009.05.29 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 35 – 2009.05.28 – Barred Owl # 2
File # 34 – 2009.05.28 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 33 – 2009.05.27 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 32 – 2009.05.25 – Barred Owl # 2
File # 31 – 2009.05.25 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 30 – 2009.05.24 – Barred Owl # 4
File # 29 – 2009.05.24 – Barred Owl # 3
File # 28 – 2009.05.24 – Barred Owl # 2
File # 27 – 2009.05.24 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 26 – 2009.05.22 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 25 – 2009.05.10 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 24 – 2009.05.07 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 23 – 2009.05.04 – Barred Owl # 3
File # 22 – 2009.05.04 – Barred Owl # 2
File # 21 – 2009.05.04 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 20 – 2009.05.03 – Barred Owl # 2
File # 19 – 2009.05.03 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 18 – 2009.04.30 – Barred Owl # 4
File # 17 – 2009.04.30 – Barred Owl # 3
File # 16 – 2009.04.30 – Barred Owl # 2
File # 15 – 2009.04.30 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 14 – 2009.04.27 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 13 – 2009.04.23 – Barred Owl # 2
File # 12 – 2009.04.23 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 11 – 2009.04.22 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 10 – 2009.04.18 – Barred Owl # 3
File # 09 – 2009.04.18 – Barred Owl # 2
File # 08 – 2009.04.18 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 07 – 2009.04.11 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 06 – 2009.04.09 – Barred Owl # 2
File # 05 – 2009.04.09 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 04 – 2008.05.18 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 03 – 2007.03.22 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 02 – 2007.03.20 – Barred Owl # 1
File # 01 – 2007.01.04 – Barred Owl # 1

Copyright 2004-2010 by Stan Courtney. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

By | 2010-08-25T12:24:53+00:00 August 25th, 2010|Uncategorized|9 Comments

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9 Comments

  1. Ken August 25, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Thanks for these, Stan. I've often thought the same thing, about squatch researchers not knowing the sounds that some animals–particularly owls–can make. Additionally, one frequently hears, "The call was so loud, it had to be from something with enormous lungs–no way a human could make such a noise," etc. Trouble is, some relatively small birds can make some inhumanly loud noises.

    I noticed the last few clips–the 2010 clips?–sound surprisingly clean. Is that due to new equipment, a parabolic mic, an exceptionally quite (but for the owls) night, or all three?

    Thanks,

    Ken

    • stancourtney August 25, 2010 at 11:22 am

      Ken,

      Many of the better clips were recorded in my back yard. So, the closer the sound, the better the quality.

      Stan

  2. Ken August 25, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I meant not "quite" but "quiet" night.

  3. Hugh Phillips August 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Great stuff Stan. I figure Barred Owls and Coyote make up around 80-90 percent of the supposed sasquatch vocalizations,its the remaining 10 percent that concern me 😉

    • stancourtney August 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm

      Hugh, I suspect squatches imitate owls but I don't have any recordings good enough to demonstrate it. I also agree with you about the "other 10 percent".

      Stan

  4. Marie Carnes August 25, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Stan, I've been following your blog since Dave Bakke profiled you in the SJ-R. I just wanted to let you know my appreciation for your appreciation of the barred owl sound.

    For about the last 15 or so years, a couple of barred owls have made their way to my neighborhood in Springfield in the spring to early summer. They're quite an amazing animal. And more than once their calls have literally infiltrated my dreams. And more than once I've stumbled outside only to be met by total and immediate silence as soon as I opened the door. Even though I couldn't see him, I could feel him looking right at me from the tree in my yard.

    • stancourtney August 25, 2010 at 4:29 pm

      Thanks for the kind words Marie.

      Last year I came upon two young barred owlets sitting on a big log about four feet off the ground. Being without a camera I really kicked myself for not getting a picture. They were so gorgeous, fuzzy and fluffy. Many of the recordings I have of barred owls were from birds in my yard, but like you I have yet to see the owls actually doing the hooting. Never tire of their beautiful vocalizations.

      Stan

  5. Parris ja Young May 4, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Thanks for your work. I didn't listen to all the calls, but I could not find the one I was searching for.

    In the last few moments of dusk I heard some screaming by the runoff pond down the hill from my house. "Perhaps some friends from Missoula have come to give me a laugh. Or maybe some neighbor kids are playing in the dark," I thought.

    But the screams seemed rather serious.

    I blew out the lamp and slipped out the backdoor silently into the thickening dark. I stood away from the door with my big flashlight in one hand and my pistol in the other … just in case it really was something serious.

    I stood there ready, I thought, for anything.

    Suddenly a loud full-throated scream split the night, almost in my left ear. I left the ground, turning in the air to face the source, flashlight and firearm pointing at what might become a Stephen King apparition.

    The scream, after the longest second or three, tapered off with what was obviously a bird throat churr so I could work my feet back to the ground.

    The flashlight picked out an owl, probably a Barred Owl, in the fir tree beside my storage shed. Surely a thrilling experience.

    Denver Holt, a moving force behind the Owl Research Institute (ORI), presented an informative lecture at the Alberton (Montana) Community Center last Thursday. Although he amazed the full house with his owl call imitations, he did not undertake to try to imitate that eye-opening scream. Probably a good thing.

  6. Tori ashwood May 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I loved listening to your calls but have not been able to locate one that sounds anything like the one I here every night. It is a very distinct call. Also for several months I have had a very small owl purch in between my crank out window and screen and I can't find a good picture of what it might be it has long almost ear like feathers on both sides of its head.

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