How Can Owls Be Identified by Their Calls?


Quick Answer

Owls use a variety of calls such as hoots, squawks, chirps, hisses and screeches and have different calls for different situations. Females, males and juveniles of the same species have different calls.

Continue Reading
Related Videos

Full Answer

A common barn owl found worldwide makes a screech sound or a twittering sound. Their chicks make a shrieking sound. A defensive barn owl makes a hissing sound or a screaming sound.

A flammulated owl has a call of a single or double hoot, with the female making a higher pitched sound than the male, and makes a long "hooo" sound if distressed.

Eastern screech owls can be identified by either a whinny or trill sound, while some bird watchers describe the call of a Western screech owl as a "bouncing ball" sound. Arizona's whiskered screech owl's call is similar to the Western screech owl but is a slower "coo-coo-coo" sound.

A male great horned owl makes a deep "hoo-hoo" call, while the females have a more bird-like call. When excited, great horned owls make a faster, shorter "hoo-hoo" sounds. They also make squawking, hissing and chittering sounds when agitated. The juveniles make a high-pitched tweeting sound.

Recordings of owl calls can be found on Owlpages.com, Owling.com and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website along with other identifying information.

Learn more about Owls

Related Questions