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Bird Sounds: Great Horned Owl

Credit: U.S. National Park Service

Listen to the bird sounds of the Great Horned Owl.

Click play button.

Compliments of The Macaulay Library at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

See what species have been spotted in your area on the interactive maps at Ebird.com.

Have you heard a Great Horned Owl? Add your comments below. Be sure to let us know where you live or where you've heard this bird sound before!

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Comments

Lockhart Texas I have seen

By Chelsea Dillon

Lockhart Texas I have seen two great horned owls in my yard and trees. I love listening to them at night.

I live in North Texas (Aledo)

By xavmerck

I live in North Texas (Aledo) and for the past few weeks I've been hearing a pair of them every other night. I finally recorded them last night and you can def hear its 2 owls calling back and forth to each other. They seem so close to the house, but I haven't spotted them yet. I'm hoping I can see them soon and not just hear them.

Nashville, TN We live on the

By Mary Frances Luffman

Nashville, TN We live on the west side beside Richland Creek. It is very close to downtown and right off the interstate. I have been hearing these owls since we moved here almost 8 years ago. At one point, about 4 years ago, I did see one of them perched on top of a very tall electric pole. It wasn't until today that I finally googled the sounds of owl hoots and discovered what type of owl they were. We've been hearing their calls for years! So much that I can't recall just how many times I have responded back with the same triple hoot call. Jokingly, I have been known to tell people that I speak owl. I was a bit confused when I 1st heard them, as I thought that owls only stirred at night, because I hear them all throughout the day (but mostly after 4 pm). My search today about what owl it was came about after witnessing another bird encounter. This morning I heard crows screaming right outside my patio door. It is a 2nd story small patio off of my bedroom that looks right over a bunch of tall trees. These 2 crows were going nuts as they screamed at a hawk that was attacking a nest. This nest has been up there for years and I've never seen a bird or animal in it. To me it appeared that the hawk was using its talons to shred the nest. Either it was attempting to use the nest and the crows, being territorial, were being lowsy neighbors in hopes that the hawk would move along. Or the hawk was dining on the crow's tab (precious prey or baby crows?). I watched as the crow flew away and it did not appear to be carrying anything in its talons. So now I know we have several specials of birds that prey on small animals. I may speak owl, and hawks are...(eh), but I am a big fan of my two small dogs. We have a tiny chihuahua and smaller sized Boston Terrier. My only hope is that these owls have grown accustomed to being around my dogs and don't feel as of they are tasty enough. As for they hawk, I'm not so much of a fan. I might have to get a BB or paint ball gun. Please don't get ill on me here. I like the owls, for now. ;)

Alas, the crows are the

By Florida Nancy

Alas, the crows are the guilty party! They will aggravate the hawk until it goes after them then another crow will swoop in and steal the hawk's egg. If you shoot at one of them make it the crow. They are real aggravators! They will also bother an owl if they can spot one during the day.
What kind of hawk?

After about 40 years I am

By Florida Nancy

After about 40 years I am once again hearing the wonderful hoo-hooing of a Great Horned Owl! And last night there were two of them! How exciting as usually there are only Barred Owls in this area! I live in a rural area of North Central Florida.

Fort Worth, Texas area. Heard

By ericka

Fort Worth, Texas area. Heard one tonight on my roof. sound echoed down the chimney flue. It is Feb. 3rd.
Quite a surprise and haven't heard a great-horned owl call in ages.

Just this morning, one in the

By Sonya Spaziani

Just this morning, one in the doug firs at the house, and another in response behind the barn.
Oregon western Cascade foothills- midway.

when douse a great horned owl

By cool

when douse a great horned owl come to texas i need dates

Driftside Trailor Park in

By Stacia Fleming

Driftside Trailor Park in Edinburgh In great horned owl hoots every night.

We live in Houston Texas. We

By michelle leitner

We live in Houston Texas. We have been hearing a great horned owl at night. for many years when we lie in bed. This year, for the first time we heard a much deeper voiced owl answering back. It was very beautiful. Thanks to this site, we figured out it must be a male answering our resident female. I wish we would get lucky and see one.

We live on the edge of Austin

By Michaels

We live on the edge of Austin and Pflugerville, TX with a green belt behind our home and horse ranches all around. We love listening to the Great Horned Owls. Occasionally we see one, but usually it's too dark.

I live in Irmo, SC and enjoy

By Margaret Nissen

I live in Irmo, SC and enjoy sitting on the porch early morning listening to the birds as they awaken and begin their day.
This morning at 5:40 I heard the great horned owl in the woods behind our house, very close. Beautiful sound!

From Kingston,Ontario,Canada.

By RVL

From Kingston,Ontario,Canada. We have owls in the area, but they are in trouble this year because of our roller coaster weather. The freezing then mild weather we have been getting has not been good for the owls food supply. (mice) Many mice have died and the birds cannot get a meal because of this.

Heard a hooting call just

By Mariallan

Heard a hooting call just after dusk in midtown Atlanta coming from a stand of tall trees behind my son's house. After listening a couple of times for the direction it was coming from we finally saw it in silouette facing away from us on a high branch. He would lean out and down then nod his head up and down vigerously as it called. Very surprising to me to see one in such a busy urban area. There are a lot of trees and squirrels around though.

We have a great horned that

By Rhonda-Harris

We have a great horned that lives on our property we have routinely seen and heard since we moved here 9 months ago. We live in Bunker Hill IL. There are lots of rabbits and rodents around to keep him fed . But we have a small dog to worry about.

We heard a single owl near

By Brad S

We heard a single owl near our house in Rhode Island tonight for the first time. Confirmed our ID by your website. THANKS!

We heard this owl call last

By UCD Alum

We heard this owl call last night while picnicking in the UC Davis Arboretum redwood grove. It was about 8pm when they started -- dusk. At about 8:50pm we got up to crane our necks to look up and find him or her, when they went silent. We were privileged to witness Fly Out of not one but TWO great horned owls a few minutes later, at 9pm. Beautiful.

We have this guy or girl and

By prfek

We have this guy or girl and a young one that visits our trees in Summerville, SC almost every night. We had him in sight one time on the ground in daylight in our back yard. Big and beautiful. It is recent that the young one is with this owl and makes those noises like a cat being attacked. We look forward to the calls every night. What is interesting is we live in a subdivision, right in town, not in the country.

So glad to find your comment

By Case

So glad to find your comment as it confirmed my suspicions. Last week, I was awakened at about 2:30 am by a very loud MEOW sound (acutally four calls in a row) that I thought sounded like a cat in distress. I live in Tucson, AZ in the Sonoran Desert area. I got up and went outside. I heard the call again, very similar, but I did not think it was a cat. I knew it was bird, a big bird because the sound was so powerful. I then heard a similar call to the right about a half mile away and another to the left about a mile or two away. I figured it had to be some sort of owl. I never realized they made sounds (and it sounded harsh and alarming)other than the standard Whooo, Whooo. I can't wait to actually catch a glimpse of one. Next time, I will take the flash light out and look at the tops of the trees and telephone poles.

I must share this. At about

By Teresa M. Ferri

I must share this. At about 3:30 am on May 13, 2014 I heard an alarming sound. I thought it was a cat being viciously attacked. One of my cats ran out last night. He wouldn't come when I called him and I needed to get to sleep. Well, just imagine the terror. I thought my Suburban was the victim. I jumped out of bed and ran to the door. Even as I continue to hear what I thought was my cat. But, I realized it was not a cat but what must have been an owl. I have lived in the country for more than ten years. I have never seem an owl and definitely didn't know they made other sounds especially cat sounds. After, many cat calls, it stopped only to make yet another kind of sound. This time it sounded like gurgling. I thought I saw its siloutte high up on the tree top. It was a frightening experience. I looked for Suburban until I spotted him sitting in front of the door waiting for me to open it. Now, my cat will need to stay indoor. I don't think I liked the sound of that owl. I won't wait for it tonight.

We heard this guy last night

By Team Thunder

We heard this guy last night in one of our oak trees. We live about 30 miles SW of Chicago, IL in the suburbs. I've lived here 40 years, and it's the first time I've ever heard one 'in the wild' around here.

I live in Raleigh, NC and I

By Anjeanette

I live in Raleigh, NC and I have a pair of Great Horned owls and a pair of Barred owls that call to each other in my back yard. I was surprised to hear both pairs at the same time. I thought maybe their territories didn't overlap but I guess they do. The sounds are so beautiful!

We live in Southern Alberta,

By K Williamson

We live in Southern Alberta, Canada (North of Nanton, AB to be exact) on a 10 Acre farm. Over the last 8 weeks we have had the pleasure of watching not one, but two Great Horned Owls live, hunt and sing on our property. It seems they sleep in the rafters of our horse barn during the day, and hunt from our tree's during the night. They alternate calls all night from the time the sun sets around 6pm until around 7:30am in the morning. Today, we finally witnessed a kill, and watched the owl bring the feed to a nest we thought was abandoned. It appeared as though the owl was feeding some young, but we cant say for sure. Amazing creatures!! If there are babies, I cant wait to watch them grow.

I live in High River. Wish I

By Mojadaka

I live in High River. Wish I knew you so I could drop by to visit your owls. :-)

I used to feed these birds

By JAMES09

I used to feed these birds all the time when I lived back in Indiana...

I would attach live mice to a platform(feeder mice) & then after a few minutes, the Owls would come & feast on the mice.

I live in Texas,at least

By debbi525

I live in Texas,at least twice a week we get this visitor in one of my trees or at either one of my neighbors.Sometimes it will perch on my neighbors garage roof.It is huge! So big that out of the corner of our eyes we can spot him.He gets very vocal and there have been times when I refuse to allow my small dog outside at dusk because of him! He is beautiful.

One night while I was on my

By Kyle

One night while I was on my computer, I saw a shape on top of my grandma's house and it was the exact shape of a Great Horned Owl!

I heard one recently in

By Larry Lima

I heard one recently in Tangipahao Parish, LA. It was lower sounding than the one in the recording. I had to look it up because we usually hear the Barred Owl. We have a small stream that runs through the property and he was in one of the large Oaks that are along it.

I hear the great horned owl

By Jim Klein

I hear the great horned owl quite often. I live on Lake Murray in South Carolina. My house is on a cove of the lake.There is an abundance of pine trees in the cove.

we also live on Lake Murray

By Connor

we also live on Lake Murray and tonite we have an owl 100' up in and oak tree, but the crows have been trying to attack it....could it have eggs or is it hurt??

Crows (and other birds) will

By Genifer

Crows (and other birds) will often attack, or "mob" a predator like a Great-Horned Owl. Sometimes this mobbing behavior will convince an owl to not settle in a particular area. Others time, well, the owl might just kill a crow or two in response.

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