Yesterday, I asked if readers could spy the visitor in my maple tree. Here is a closeup of our local barred owl. I hear this creature more than I see it. Sometimes it's the who who call with which everyone is familiar, but other times it sounds like a hyena laughing and can be quite startling. In the summer, I have heard two owls 'laughing' at the same time. From what I've read, the call that sounds like laughter is a territorial call.
It is a privilege every time I see one which has only happened about five times over the years. They sit so still and quiet, I am certain I've missed seeing an owl even when they are close by.
Lately I have not seen any grey squirrels on my land. Not one. This is unusual and a first in all the years I've been here. Usually they are raiding the bird seed all winter. I am wondering if the barred owl has eaten them all. If so, it's a happy owl, because we were overrun with squirrels last fall and now not even one.
For more information about barred owls visit Cornell Lab of Ornithology here.
Hear a barred owl hoot here.
Hear barred owls laughing here.