[Tweeters] (Continued)-Re: Eastern Screech Owl heard near Chism Park, Bellevue - is this even possible?!?

Dan Reiff dan.owl.reiff at gmail.com
Fri Oct 8 00:21:27 PDT 2021

Also, in my experience, of all the owls I film, sound record or observe, saw-whets are the most likely to make interesting and varied sounds and vocally react in recognition of larger owls nearby.

For example, if a migrating saw-whet stopped at your woods and became aware of a Barred or Great Horned owl, you would hear them make one or several interesting, and not often heard sounds.

I have heard them do this with Barred (most frequent), Boreal, Great Horned, Long-eared and Spotted owls.

They will also sometimes vocalize when a conspecific is nearby.

On all occasions, I was not aware of the larger owl being present until after the saw-whet began vocalizing.

They will also often make sounds when they are aware of an unexpected person nearby.

Recently, I was in the central Cascades and had been listening and sound recording owls for much of the night.

I pulled off of the road to stretch my legs before the long drive home. I had never previously stopped there. As soon as I had opened the car door, even before I stepped out, a saw-whet began vocalizing and did so for 15 minutes.

I made no sounds at all and just listened. Totally unexpected.
The little owl later flew across the road as I heard a female Great Horned owl in the distance call once, perhaps reacting to hearing the smaller owl.

I have spent hundreds of hours filming and sound recording owls- and I enjoy them all-and of all species, I most enjoy the wide variety of very neat vocalizations of saw-whets.

Thanks for your report, Emily.
Dan Reiff

Sent from my iPhone

> On Oct 7, 2021, at 11:08 PM, Dan Reiff <Dan.Owl.Reiff at gmail.com> wrote:


> Hello Emily,

> Northern Saw-whet owls have a wide variety of calls.

> Probably the most likely of the options for what you heard.

> And they are in migration now.


> All though several species of owls can make some unexpected calls.

> Dan Reiff

> MI


> Sent from my iPhone


>> On Oct 7, 2021, at 10:12 PM, Emily Winstrom <emily.winstrom at gmail.com> wrote:



>> We live a mile up from Chism Park in Bellevue, WA. Chism Park is on Lake Washington, and there are many large Douglas Firs and Cedars in our surrounding neighborhood. Barred Owls frequent Chism park vicinity as well as Great Horned Owls. This evening, about 8:30, we heard a strange call from our backyard area - where there are many large Doug Firs and Cedars as well as native plant "wild" areas between houses. We opened our back sliding door, and very close by heard what seems like a pretty bizarre owl call. I'm not kidding - it sounded like the Eastern Screech Owls we have heard many times over the years when we visit Sanibel Island in Florida. On Sanibel Island there are Eastern Screech Owls in abundance. The call we heard this evening starts with a higher pitch, descends smoothly in pitch, closing with a whinny sound. I don't know anything about calls made by Great Horned Owls or Barred Owls that could sound something like this. I know these species have a wide variety of calls and sounds they use. I wish I had had Merlin with Sound Identification all ready to go, but I haven't got that set up yet. I think my best recourse is to share with the Tweeter expert community and get your take on this. What birds around here could make a sound that sounds just like the Eastern Screech Owl? That pretty much sums up this mysterious sound we heard tonight. Thanks for your help!!!


>> From Emily Winstrom, Bellevue, WA

>> _______________________________________________

>> Tweeters mailing list

>> Tweeters at u.washington.edu

>> http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters

More information about the Tweeters mailing list