We heard the hooting on one of those below-zero mornings a couple of weeks ago. Hoo-hoo! Hoo-hoo-hoo! Outside before sunrise, thanks to our dog, my partner Mick and I heard owls calling to each other in the trees across the street from our house.
In the middle of winter, when the air is coldest and the desire to snuggle beneath the covers strongest, the call of owls is magical. These early nesters do a call-and-response in mid-winter, find a place to start this year’s family and stake their territory. I’m not adept enough at identifying bird calls to know what kind of owls we heard, but that they were owls of some sort was unmistakeable. Their rich, deep calls rolled out across the winter air, made us stand still to listen. We couldn’t find the owls, though we tried. Being present for this soulful winter music made the below-zero morning just a little bit warmer.
Once we were back inside, I remembered that Mick has a little collection of owls made out of ash, bone, ceramic. We keep them in our china cabinet, amidst the wine glasses and fancy candleholders. Mick has loved owls for as long as I’ve known him, which made me feel even luckier that we heard their hoots.
Later, I dug around in our cabinet and found the owls.
Not sure where these owls came from – Mick’s mom, perhaps?
Even though I’ve heard the owls only once, I’ve continued to look in the early mornings to see if I can spy them. And I’ll keep listening – we both will – especially if there are owlets growing up nearby.
Interested in owls? Here are some information sites:
Owl in tree photo courtesy of Pixabay.com.