Last night - and a balmy one it was - Rick and I heard a Western Screech Owl calling just outside our courtyard. These owls don't screech! They have a very melodic, soothing call. We know we have Screech Owls in our area in Anchor Bay because last year we found two juveniles in a dark canyon. Here's the link to see them on this blog: http://www.mendonomasightings.com/2011/04/29/hoping-for-a-western-screech-owl-to-take-up-residence-in-my-beautiful-owl-house/
I decided I'd like to learn more about owl calls. I found a great web site, forgetting that I had turned the volume on my iPad all the way up. Huckleberry was sleeping behind Rick and me. It was very tranquil and quiet. Quiet, that is, until I clicked on the very loud "hoo, hoo, hooooo" sounds of a Great Horned Owl. The calls boomed out into our house, echoing off the walls. Huckleberry reared up in great alarm, looked everywhere in the living room and then began barking.
Here's a photo of a Great Horned Owl taken by Steve Wilcox. I thank him for allowing me to share his photo here.
And if you'd like to hear their call, here's a link: http://www.owlpages.com/owls.php?genus=Bubo&species=virginianus But learn from my lesson and keep the sound down so you don't scare your furry friends!