Ask SIB … Why do I hear the Great Horned Owl in the Fall?

Great Horned Owl – Ed Konrad

Question:  For a few weeks each spring and again in the fall we hear Great Horned Owls calling back and forth out here on Jenkins Point. I’ve seen them on our roof ridge and chimney. The rest of the year we don’t hear them at all. Spring could be breeding season but why in the fall? Do these owls migrate? Submitted by Andy Allen

Answer:  Great Horned Owls are resident birds who maintain some type of territory through the year. Singing in the fall probably identifies the resident’s ownership and tells new young to go somewhere else… Neat birds – I slept in a chicken coop next to two young owls for a summer in New England. We didn’t bother each other as long as I stayed on my side of the wall… The joys of working with Audubon! Response from Carl Helms

 Thanks to Andy for the question, Carl for the response and Ed for the photo!

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Author: sibirders

SEABROOK ISLAND BIRDERS / “watching, learning, protecting” Seabrook Island Birders (SIB) are residents, renters and guests of Seabrook Island, SC who have an interest in learning, protecting and providing for the well-being of the incredible variety of birds that inhabit Seabrook Island throughout the year.

One thought on “Ask SIB … Why do I hear the Great Horned Owl in the Fall?”

  1. According to Birds of North America, Great Horned Owls pair bond about 1 to 2 months prior to laying the first egg. In the Carolinas, the first egg can be laid in late December. Pair bonding is what is most likely happening when you hear the deeper throated male and a higher pitched female duetting. Earlier in the fall, the males hoot to define their territory.

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