Why Do Owls Hoot?


Quick Answer

Owls make a hooting sound to communicate and claim their territory. Hooting typically takes place during the evening hours. The Great Horned Owl and the Hoot Owl are the only two species of owl that emit the hooting sound. Additional sounds made by all owl species include hissing, screaming and screeching.

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Why Do Owls Hoot?
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Full Answer

A breeding pair of owls communicates with one another through alternating hoots and shrieks, and baby owls emit a high-pitched screech when they are hungry. Owls also snap their bills aggressively in response to perceived threats and predators. Adult owls are known to shriek and scream when protecting their nests and their young.

The Great Horned Owl is the largest of the owl species and is the only predator of the skunk, due to the fact that skunks cannot spray upwards. The Great Horned Owl's diet consists of 80 percent rabbit, but it is known to feed on practically anything. These owls reside in crow's nests until their young hatch, typically in February or March. The Barred Owl is the second largest owl with a 3-foot wingspan and is the only owl species that is not completely nocturnal. The Barred Owl can be spotted immediately following sunrise as well as a few hours prior to dusk.

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