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BirdNote: Great Horned Owls Calling

Michael Daniel Ho

It's late autumn, and a fledgling Great Horned Owl calls to be fed. Judging from the young bird's persistence, the parents seem to be responding only with calls, not with food.

These entreaties can go on for weeks. Both parents let the fledgling know that it's time for him to feed himself. 

They've been bringing voles and rabbits for months. Silence and surprise are keys to the owls' success as hunters, so it's hard to imagine the juvenile Great Horned Owl improving his chances by being so vocal!