Date: 8/19/19 6:22 am From: NAPBirds <NAPBirds...> Subject: RE: [birders] Barn Owl calling?
All of the recent reports of possible Barn Owl calls in Washtenaw in recent years, have turned out to be juvenile Great Horned Owls. Please try to obtain a recording with your cell phone, as most models of smartphone have a voice memo app that is adequate for this purpose. Then we’d be able to help with ID.
Thanks for looking into this interesting observation.
From: Reg Baker <vireo...>
Sent: Monday, August 19, 2019 8:04 AM
To: Catherine Carroll <songsparrow...>; bill butler <thewdata_sa...>; birders list <birders...>
Subject: Re: [birders] Barn Owl calling?
Or maybe a mammal such as a fox who often make owl-type noises.
This is intriguing. I think most would say that Barn owls have been extirpated from Michigan for many years. However, some years ago a Barn owl sighting at Tawas State Park created a stir and was seen by several birders. Your description of a hoarse, somewhat hair-raising shriek sounds good and the description of your location is also interesting. Juvenile Great-Horned owls let out a squeal/?shriek vocalization and the likelihood of their presence in Lapeer County would seem common. Since the calling is coming from your driveway it would not seem too onerous to get out to try to see the bird. This would answer your question.
From: "'bill butler' via Birders" <birders...><mailto:<birders...>> To: <birders...><mailto:<birders...> Sent: Monday, August 19, 2019 12:02:43 AM
Subject: [birders] Barn Owl calling?
Three nights last week between 23:00 and midnight I heard a short (2 second), hoarse, somewhat hair-raising shriek of a call repeated 2 or 3 times within a minute or so. THe calls seemed to be coming from along our driveway which runs the margin between a wooded area and meadow. On the 2nd night I got to an open window to hear it clearly and to my ear it sounded like a very good facsimile of a Barn Owl's flight call. I know Barn Owl populations have plummeted across Michigan and there haven't been any eBird sightings reported for Lapeer County. Is there anything else that might give a similar call?