Sunday, November 15, 2015

Whooo's Calling?

DID YOU KNOW? – That not all owls hoot.  Some hiss, some trill, and some even bark and growl!

Here’s a little quiz we thought you might enjoy.  How good is your Owl IQ?  First, see how many of the owls pictured you can identify, then see if you can match their calls (click on the link below the descriptions) to their pictures (Hint—you can use our blog site as a cheat sheet—at least for some of these).  Check our blog in the next few days to see how owl savvy you are.  Answers will be posted in a “Whooo’s Who?” blog post.

A.            This owl’s call seems to be concerned about your dinner.

B.            No wimpy hooting for this bird—it communicates with a high-pitched hissing scream.  It is often call the “ghost owl”.

C.            Don’t let this bird’s sweet trilling call fool you—it’s a fierce little predator.

D.            This owl’s call is a monotonous “hoop-hoop-hoop”, but its volume belies its size.

E.            The male owl of this species calls with a low-pitched “ho-ho-ho-ho-hoo-hoo”, and is answered with a higher pitched “girly” version of the same call.  It is native to the U.S. and fairly common in Missouri.

F.            This owl’s vocalization sounds like a knocking or tapping, “Pup-pup-pup-o” issued in a rising crescendo.  The female of this species has a hawklike ‘ker-WHEEER” call.  (Hint—This owl is not native to the U.S.—it lives south of the border.   However, you may have heard it if you’ve been to the World Bird Sanctuary’s weathering area lately.)

G..            This owl was the inspiration for the owl in the Winnie the Pooh tales, and is the most common owl in Europe—especially in England. 

H.            This owl issues a long, booming “oo-hooh”, and may even bark and growl if it feels threatened.  (Hint—This owl is not native to the U.S., but is one of the most popular residents at the World Bird Sanctuary and is notable for its size.)

To hear these birds’ calls Click Here.  Find the bird you are looking for and click on the name.  This will take you to a page with detailed information on the species and a link to its calls.

Find out the answers to our quiz and dozens of other facts about our planet’s amazing birds of the night by attending one of our Owl Prowls.  Prowls begin in our Nature Center building where you will meet some of these seldom seen creatures, and be given a short lesson on “hooting”.  Owl Prowl participants then proceed onto our outdoor trails, where we will try our hand at hooting to see if we can get some of our local wild owls to answer.

Owl Prowls are filling up fast!  There are still openings on some of our Owl Prowls beginning 12/11.  To view Owl Prowl dates still available Click Here—or—for more information or TO MAKE RESERVATIONS CALL 636-225-4390, Ext. 101.

Adults - $15.00
Children - $10.00

Owls Prowls start at 7 p.m. and last approximately 1-1/2 hour.

Be sure to dress for the weather, and wear comfortable and warm walking shoes.  Flashlights are not needed, as your Naturalist will provide the only lighting necessary.

Submitted by Gay Schroer, World Bird Sanctuary Volunteer

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