Sunday, July 22, 2018

Lil' Tooters

Sunday July 22 2018

They can drive you mad, these juvenile screech owls, always hiding in plain sight, but incredibly camouflaged. They might even give you a tooting clue during the middle of the day to zero in on… and you still probably won't find them.

There are at least 3 juveniles, and 1 adult hanging in the cottonwood trees in the creek. I hear them often at night, and I'll see their silhouettes as they fly in to check me out (some seem to be very curious). I spent half a day hunting for the adult the other week, and finally find him (her?). I think it's the male I hear hooting at night, and, yet another year went by, I could not find their nest that is very near and fledged at least 3 young.

This youngster tooted once this afternoon; I went looking for him, (also heard one tiny chirrup out of a sibling, but could not find him), and after looking and looking and looking, and staring and staring, I finally realized that stump-y thing in the crook of a cottonwood was one of the juvenile screech owls staring at me, and not, in fact, a stump of wood.

Here's what a screech owl sounds like. For several weeks, these youngsters only did one little "whop!" at a time; they've just in the last couple of nights started doing the whole ping pong ball call.

Cute lil' bugger!!!!!

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