So I contact a friend and fellow birder about an Audubon bird count and we arranged to count birds this past weekend. He's terribly experienced at this and made some recommendations for the day which included listening for owls. OK, that sounded interesting.
We headed out early Saturday morning and found a spot on a remote country road lined with big pines. We pulled off the road and he pulled his boom box out of the back seat. We stood in the dark of night, facing the pines, and turned on the boom box which had a tape of owl noises we projected into the woods.
I raised my eyebrow at the thought of trying to coerce the owls into talking to us. At one point, after several minutes of hooting, I looked out the corner of my eye to my friend and said......"this is supposed to work, right?" "Yes.........I know you think I'm nuts.........I thought the same thing the first time I went out." "OK" I said. A little more time went by. Then we left. We headed over to a private wildlife park.........where we saw a Pileated Woodpecker and a Barred Owl, but without having to hoot to it. Owls are cool, and seldom seen. I saw a Great Horned Owl last spring surrounded by crows. It was amazing. We also saw a Rough Legged Hawk on Saturday-that was amazing too. Probably could do this again next year.....not sure about the hooting though.