Flagstaff Owls
17 Jan 2018, 10:48 AM,
#1
Flagstaff Owls
I live in Timberline/Fernwood area north of Flagstaff. I came home the Monday night around 6:30/7:00ish and heard what sounded like the hoots of an owl. A very deep sounding hoot. I stopped and listened for a bit, then responded back with my own hoots, mimicking the sound as best I could, to which the owl responded (or so I like to think). Intrigued, as this was my first encounter with an owl at our house, I researched owl calls to see if I could identify it (too dark to identify it by sight, let alone locate it). So far, possibly a Spotted Owl or Great Horned Owl??? Can anyone with a little more birding expertise verify if either of these are common to this area or chime in on what owls may be common here?
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17 Jan 2018, 11:21 AM,
#2
RE: Flagstaff Owls
I would think Great Horned Owl would the likely culprit in your neck of the woods. They are fairly common here and inhabit open country with sparse forest cover. Mid-winter hooting is not uncommon and I think associated with males advertising for mates. Spotted Owls are also present around Flagstaff, but tend to like deeply forested canyons, rather than open country like you have in Timberline.

Jason
Flagstaff, AZ
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17 Jan 2018, 7:55 PM,
#3
RE: Flagstaff Owls
Take a look at http://www.xeno-canto.org, which is a great resource for recordings of bird calls. The cadence of the hoots for Great Horned and Spotted Owls are distinctly different and easy to separate once you've gotten familiar with them. This time of year, Great Horned are generally more vocal.

Brian Gatlin
Grand Canyon, AZ
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18 Jan 2018, 7:05 AM,
#4
RE: Flagstaff Owls
Thanks for the help guys!  I'll be on the lookout again to verify; but after checking out the xeno-canto website, there is a distinct difference in the hoots I heard, so I'm leaning towards the Great-Horned Owl.  What a nice resource that website is.  Thanks for suggesting I check it out.
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