Re: Great Horned Owl vocalization question

Bill Bousman

Dear Steve and Carol,

I think the shriek sound is similar to a begging call given by a juvenile bird, but at this time of year might not be expected (although I have heard typical Great Horned begging calls occasionally in the winter.)  I've been watching adult Red-tails harassing juvenile bird over the last two months, which is the natural way to force the youngsters out of the adult's territory. So, two guesses: (1) it is last year's juvenile using the begging call to elicit tolerance from the parent, or (2) it is a female being submissive to a male by using childlike sounds.  I've noticed many passerines using begging postures (wing fluttering) both as begging youngsters and as courting adults.  But this is speculative on my part.

Bill Bousman
Menlo Park

On 11/11/2019 8:59 PM, SteveLombardi wrote:
We recorded these two birds in our backyard in San Ramon tonight about 6:30 pm (total darkness with moon rising).
One bird is obviously an adult Great Horned Owl.
But what's the other one shrieking?
Based on the fact that both birds were vocalizing in the dark and relatively near each other, we presume that it's another GHOW.
But we've never heard this vocalization, nor do we find much in the literature about it.
Any thoughts or opinions welcome.

Steve and Carol
San Ramon

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