The Orange County Register (6 March 2010) ran an article Barn Owl webcam a surprise hit about the webcam at Starr Ranch Sanctuary. That got me googling for more barn owl info and I found some very interesting links!
We thought we had a barn owl that loves to perch on our chimney in Reno, almost always at night but sometimes at dusk. There is another one in the neighborhood that answers his/her calls. It’s neat but also seems to follow the old Apache Indian folklore of predicting a death. According to the same owl mythology link in the Sierras (where Reno is), native Indians believed the Great Horned Owl captured the souls of the dead and carried them to the underworld. Thanks to the recordings of the different owl calls on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology site, we now realize it is a Great Horned Owl. We reviewed all the recordings on the owl pages and “our owl” call is exactly like the one recorded for the Great Horned Owl – only it can go on and on and on and on….. Ah, according to the Oregon Zoo, mating season can be as early as February – so maybe that was the reason! It was February that loooong night of owl calls. I also learned that the female has the lower voice, but the response was too faint to distinguish which was lower…. 🙂
Here’s a radio show dedicated to birds called Birdnote.
The Hungry Owl Project has a camsite and photos as well.