Night Sounds

By Dave Hanks

	An owls soft call speaks plainly now
	He talks so hauntingly.
		The cool night breeze wafts it forth.
		It resounds from tree to tree.
	The crunch of jaws, upon something hard 
	Adds mystery to the night.
		Where is it at? What might it be?
		Its somewhere near but out of sight
	The rustling leaves, by creatures small 
	That scurry to and fro
		They all cause questions to arise
		What are they? Id like to know
	Off in the distance, such a plaintive howl 
	Emotions it subtly wrenches!
		A lone Coyote that sounds so sad - 
		Reaches deep into my senses
	I lie in the dark. Sleep will not come -
	As sounds, whether loud or small 
		Excite my thoughts at whats out there
		I wonder about it all

Great Horned Owls are one of the most common owls in our area. At our home we are serenaded every evening and in the early morning hours. Calls are very important to nocturnal species - an extra compensation against the darkness, even though eyes have extra rods in them for night vision. Their ear tufts are believed to have a use in communication, although they play no role in their hearing.

The Great Gray Owl is the largest in volume. The snowy owl is the heaviest. But, the Great Horned Owl is right up there with them running closely behind in size. This widest ranging owl will live up to 13 years in the wild.They nest in January and February and it is during these months that you will hear their calls most often, as male and female call back and forth to each other.

I love its haunting call, and we are fortunate to have the necessary habitat in our yard, for this fascinating bird to inhabit our place on a regular basis.

(Calling: Adding to the to the sounds of the night)