Holy Cow! I am working on a blog entry for the latest piece of inaccurate bird crap floating on the Internet and wow, just wow, wait til you see it--if you haven't seen it already.
In the meantime, while I was at The Raptor Center today, some our education great horned owls were hooting up a storm in the courtyard--well it is December, prime flirting time for great horneds. We have two great horned owls that are housed next to each other that are imprinted on humans (illegally raised by people as chicks and now kind of think of themselves as the same species as human). When you hoot at them, they'll hoot back, so I got a video of Bubo hooting at me (you'll hear me in the background to get hit hoot). Part way through the the video clip, you will hear a bark and more hooting, that is Lois. And I think she's female because her hoot is a little higher in pitch and because she makes that barking call quite a bit. Both male and female great horneds can give the call, but females do it more often:
The hoots may not sound like the great horned hooting you hear on bird cds or in your yard, but this bird is imprinted and sometimes imprints can't do a perfect hoot. And for all those who cannot watch video, here is a photo of Lois in mid hoot:
The best part of watching great horned owls hoot is seeing that little gular pouch puff out. Sometimes I wish I could have a fluffy little pouch poof out...okay that would probably gross out Non Birding Bill. Here's a video of Lois (the bark heard in this video is me trying to get her to bark back) she did it, but not when my camera was on her: