Saturday, September 18, 2010

Owl Talk

Lately, after nightfall, we've been hearing the hoot of an owl. Tonight we heard two owls. If you click on the video and turn the sound up you can hear the owls. In mid-video, I saw the two very large birds fly away.

The owls are likely Great Horned Owls. The Eaton Canyon bird page says Great Horned Owls are common to our area. Other owls (like the western screech owl and northern pygmy) have been seen, but only rarely.

The Great Horned Owl is a fascinating bird. As I heard tonight, male and female owls call together - each in its own pitch. They hunt at night by swooping down from a perch to snatch their prey in their strong talons. Don't even think about shaking hands with a Great Horned Owl. The crushing power of their talons is almost ten times that of a adult human hand. Like most other raptors, they have extraordinary eyesight and hearing, but a very poor sense of smell. The later quality probably explains why skunks are a regular part of their diet.


Petrea said...

When John and I were first married we were renting a house at the far north end of Altadena, near the Cobb Estate. Every night an owl hooted from our neighbor's tree. It was the beginning of our love affair with this area.

Latino Heritage said...

I will keep in mind never to shake hands with an owl. That seems like wise advise.
Love the sound of the owls. Thanks so for sharing.