Who’s awake? Me … Too …

For over a month now, there’s been a lonely voice calling out to us in the early evening. Sometimes a week will go by and I’ll think it has left, but then I’ll hear it again as I step out for firewood: “Who’s awake? Me … Too …” Yes, I’m awake, and I’m talking about a Great Horned Owl.

When I first heard the sound, it triggered a memory from a camping trip as a kid. One night at an Indiana state park, we joined up with a dozen people tromping around in the woods on a Ranger-led owl calling hike. Assorted poorly rendered owl calls broke the silence–futile attempts to lure in one of the puzzled birds. I don’t think we heard any actual owls on that occasion, but the call mnemonic is permanently engraved in my synapses.

Great Horned Owls range across all of the Americas, from the beech-maple forests of my midwest childhood, to the towering stands of conifers outside our window, and from Alaska to the Straits of Magellan. There’s probably one sitting in a tree near you right now.

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3 Responses to Who’s awake? Me … Too …

  1. Lynn says:

    I find owls so interesting. We have a great horned owl near our home. Usually I see him 3 or 4 times a week when I’m on my dirt road. His wingspan is magnificent, breathtaking. I often hear him at night, and have learned to recognize his call. We also have several barred owls – I know their calls well – “Who Cooks For You”. I hear them calling back & forth in the woods at night.

    At our previous house here in MD we had a barred owl that lived near the house, we saw him every day. His name was “Mr. Who” (I’m not that good with names…). At that house we had SOOO many barred owls – Randy would go out in the evenings & make the barred owl call and get them all started – it was fun. We even had screech owls there, although I never saw them, only heard them.

  2. Benita says:

    We have one living in the woods across the road from my house – I’m in central Indiana.

  3. lee says:

    Lynn – I’m jealous that you’ve seen so many owls. Such a neat experience. I’ve heard quite a few, but I’ve never seen one. Okay, I take that back, I’ve seen them a couple times at a distance from inside a car, but that’s not the same experience. I almost mentioned Barred Owls in my post, as that was the other call I remember from that hike: “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?”

    Benita – I grew up in northern Indiana. The park was Potato Creek State Park. We went there every summer for a week or two, and they had a great nature program for kids. I hope Indiana has not cut the funding to their state parks, but that’s probably one of the first things to go.

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