Monday morning at 6:00 a.m. we heard two owls calling back and forth in our back yard. One flew off. They got back together in the vacant lot next door, continuing the discussion, then one took off again. The last place they went was to Edgehill Park where they sat across from each other. Nellie was giving this new mate quite a talking to (their throats puff out then they vocalize). I believe she was saying if you want a piece of this fine specimen, you need to be catching me some rodent. He then went off again in search of prey. This lasted about an hour.
Last night we were privileged to hear and see a parliament of owls (which is what a group of owls is called-we seek to educate) fighting for this territory-further evidence that Ned is gone and Nellie is seeking a new mate and seeing if he would defend her honor. It was around 12:30 a.m. when we heard two pairs of owls caterwauling. This is when they do the monkey hooting thing to the next extreme. Hopefully you can open the attached sound file. This went on for an hour. They went from the vacant lot, to our house, to Edgehill, then down to Squirrel Park. Then they came back to our house. This audio was recorded in our front yard with one pair in the deodora cedar and the other in the pin oak tree.
One of the coolest things about barred owls is that they are the most vocal and social (or in this case anti-social because this 'hood is not big enough for two pairs of owls) of all the owls. They are extremely territorial and as you can hear, both the male and female defend their space.
If you go to www.youtube.com and search for "paulyorke" he has this incredible camera set up for barred owls nesting which features a camera outside and inside. This clip features mom feeding the babies as well as giving them kisses. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38Wg_rNUOyE
Below is a recording of the fight in owl town last night.