Is this an owl?


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Old 04-25-09, 02:39 AM
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Is this an owl?

Hi all, I'm not a hunter, but I figure this would be the best forum to ask:

I live in Iowa, and have *always* heard this "hooting" sound. I had assumed it was an owl all these years. Recently though, I took an interest and decided to iron it down. I've been through tons and tons of pages of Iowa owls and .wav's, and have not identified the thing yet.

This bird or whatever it is certainly sounds like an owl or something about the size of it. The cadence is "whyooo, hoooooo, hoooo, hooooo". Certainly sounds like an owl to me, but dunno.

These calls are _very_ slow, I'd say one "whoo" every 2.0 seconds. There are exactly 4 "whooos" every time.

Any hints guys? Thanks!
 
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Old 04-25-09, 05:49 AM
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We have Morning Doves and I have always associated the cooing with them, but they refuse to audition so I can see them. In my experience, owls tend not to be too vocal, where these Doves will go for hours. I do see several pairs around the house and I know what tree they nest in, thus the assumption they are the singers.

GL
Bud
 
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Old 04-25-09, 06:25 AM
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The Horned Owl has a hoo hoo sound.

Or maybe the Barred or Hoot Owl.

Try this site for a wide variety of Owl calls.
 
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Old 04-25-09, 04:15 PM
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And just so we are clear on something.....you don't "hunt" owls. They are considered raptors and are, as far as I can tell, protected.
I believe you have a horned owl, and they may be prolific in your area with corn and the like. They feast on rodents who feast on your corn.
They are ferocious, so don't attempt to handle one if you get close. They will rip your face down to your waist. Beautiful animals, though!
 
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Old 04-25-09, 04:24 PM
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Depending on the amount of woods and structures around (old barns etc), I'd be more inclined to go with the dove theory. We have some around here...most times "hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo"..but sometimes I think I hear a crow...they can really squack! Prob a different species/variety (genus?)..but made me look a lot when we first moved here.

Prob more importantly...WHEN do you hear it? Morning? All day? Evening? Nightime?

95% (or more probably) of birds are asleep at night. Some are active early in the morn and all day until dusk. AFAIK, only owls will make any noise at night.

There must be a University in DM, they will have an extension service that could probably direct you to the correct Dept. Or contact a local Birding society.
 
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Old 04-25-09, 04:42 PM
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I have two rather large owl boxes mounted on my barn, on either end. Never can tell if they are in there or not. And I ain't sticking my head in the hole to see!! I do hear them at night, though.
 
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Old 04-26-09, 04:52 PM
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Thanks for all the responses.

Woo hoo! Mystery solved. Based on the info posted here, I looked up mourning doves and that's the EXACT sound I'm talking about. Wav link here. Wow I didn't realize such tiny birds could make such a resonant sound.

Thanks a million guys! This one's had me stumped for more years than I can count. Never would have guessed doves in a million years.



I guess I don't feel _that_ dumb for thinking it's an owl, since that site says the call is often mistaken for that of an owl.

And yep chandler, I know one doesn't hunt owls. It's just that this site doesn't really have a wildlife forum, and I figured who better to ask than guys that spend hours and hours outdoors watching and listening. Didn't know horned owls could be ferocious, that's good to know.
 
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Old 04-27-09, 04:16 AM
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Maybe we SHOULD have a wildlife forum. Hey, mods!!! Good idea.
Core, I climbed into my deer stand early one morning as quietly as I could. It was totally dark. I got settled in and as the morning thermals started, I looked to my right and I was less than 3' from a screech owl. Talk about heart stopping. Luckily he flew off.
 
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Old 05-03-09, 06:39 PM
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I have walked the woods around my house for many years and have never actually seen an owl. I have heard one hooting in the middle of the night, and I think I've heard an owl take prey in the night but that is as close as I've ever gotten.
 
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Old 05-05-09, 09:55 PM
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on a related note i hear the same sound here in michigan and im in the city. could it be owls or doves that like to party at night. its like hoo hoo hoo. i never see any owl droppings or any sightings. did see a raccoon last year in my backyard tree.i think i even saw a hawk once fly over my garage.
 
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Old 05-06-09, 04:03 AM
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We have a resident hawk who helps with the rat population. Fantastic to watch in action. Photobucket
 
 

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