Waiting for the other “hoo” to drop

Great Horned Owl

There is an owl in the courtyard of the building where I live in California. I’ve never seen it, but I have often heard it. It goes “Hoooo” in a deliciously deep baritone voice. I love the sound, but it bothers me because it only hoots once. Owls  are supposed to go “Hoo-Hoooooo,” aren’t they?

When I was a child, all my English story book owls went “Twit-Twooo,” and I just assumed that all owls sounded like that. Well, they don’t. The one I hear as I’m falling asleep just makes one long deep “Hooo,” and I don’t know if this is normal or if there is something wrong with my owl.

I’ve tried to find online a recording of an owl that sounds like mine, but so far I have had no luck. I’m left waiting for the other “hoo” to drop, without knowing if there should even be one.

I have a friend whose online avatar is of an owl because he’s a wise old bird. We met in person for a few days a couple of years ago, and we still maintain an online correspondence. It’s lovely to know I have a friend who lives on the other side of the continent, but it’s not quite the same as having a friend who lives nearby. We can’t drive each other to the airport or drown each other’s sorrows when necessary. It’s like half a friendship. The “twit” without the “twooo”.


  1. Hmmm… usually, around here, it’s “Huh-HOOOO!”

    Must be a regionalism…

    But look at it this way: be thankful you’ve got a hoot owl, not a screech owl!

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