Night Sounds From The Porch

I absolutely adore owls! They are sooo beautiful! Last night I was working late in the office when I heard two Barred Owls in the trees out back. I grabbed my camera and ran down to the porch to see if I could capture their hoots for you.

Barred Owl

Picture from Wikipedia


I thought about using my phone to record them but I knew my camera would pick up the audio much better. Unfortunately, you can’t see anything because it was pitch black dark outside. I didn’t dare turn on any of the lamps on the porch, I was afraid it would scare them away.

In the recording below, you can tell there are two owls in the yard in the beginning. It sounds like they may be fussing at each other, maybe a little territory battle going on. Update:  My owls may be a courting couple…apparently courting season is not far off.

Eventually you’ll hear just one nearby and the other owl sounds like he has flown farther away. Toward the end, it almost sounds like he is flying away and hooting at the same time, although that’s probably impossible…flying and hooting at the same time. lol

Barred Owl With Baby

Picture from Wikimedia Commons


If you love owls as much as I do, I think you’ll enjoy this.  Be sure and turn up your volume to hear all the hoots. You’ll hear a car go by near the beginning (drat!) but after that it’s just owls, tree frogs and other night sounds.

Oh, and for some unknown reason, the volume seems to keep “muting” itself. So if you don’t hear anything right off the bat, check the volume on the video below to see if it’s muted. If it is muted, you’ll need to unmute it and then slide the little bar to turn up the volume. Then you may want to restart the video after un-muting it because a lot of the fun stuff happens toward the beginning. 🙂



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  1. Patricia Mason says

    Wow ! Wonderful ! What a great idea to go out and record it – I love hearing the sounds of the owl….You are so lucky to have all that ‘wildlife’ so close to home…..

  2. Oh my gosh that first photo is worthy of National Geographic!

  3. This is fabulous! I’d be perched out there on a chair listening to this a lot! I always have wondered if there are owls in the woods next to me. You know what’s great- hearing these loud crickets— at least they are louder than the darn ringing from my ears that I have to hear all the time in my head! It sounds like that outside here too, but I am never out late enough I suspect to hear any owls.

  4. Oh, I hear this same song all the time and thought it was some kind of dove. So this is Mr. Owl…good to know. I love listening to it as I fall off to sleep whatever it is.

  5. That is so cute Susan, how nice to hear them. It reminds me of an incident when we lived England. We heard my mother-in-law screaming one night from the back garden, someone’s pet Owl had landed on her head and was stuck in her hair!! Eventually it got loose, but although scary at the time, we still smile about it.

  6. I think it is so relaxing to just sit on the patio and listen to the woods. I like hearing all the different animals at night, the Owls are very vocal and even the Racoons talk to each other. Thank you for sharing your Owls!

  7. Camille Morgan says

    This has made my day! Just wonderful, especially for such a long time. The two talking to each other…..I love it. Have never heard but one owl at night never two! Will continue to listen!

  8. JoyceBinAtlanta says

    If I remember correctly from my Audubon class, courting season for owls begins in October. With our cooler evenings, this couple may be getting a jump start! Thanks for sharing this. I love owls. Before I took the class, I also thought I was hearing doves. I don’t comment often, but I love your blog. Your enthusiasm is very contagious – in a very good way!!

    • Thanks so much, Joyce! I bet you’re right…I bet that was a courting pair. I just pulled up my Audubon app on my iPad and there was a link for a voice recording called “Pair Hootin-It-Up Florida” and they sounded very much like the pair in my back yard.

  9. Wow, night sounds, love it. You should have this sound track playing at your front door on Halloween!
    Thanks Susan that was great! Vikki in VA

  10. Susan, this is great. The first picture is stunning and the picture of the mama rubbing heads with her fuzzy baby is so cute! I love the audio, too. Night sounds are awesome. Especially on a starry night. 🙂 I think I hear some tree frogs.

  11. I loved listening to this! I too have Barred Owls and always love the sound of their hooting and calling. Your recording sounds as if it was taken at my cabin!

  12. Sharon Smith says

    Thanks so much for owl hoots! I’m addicted to night sounds. That was a treat!

  13. That was a hoot!! I listened to “our” two owls last evening (well, actually, 4am …) sounded different than yours ours is more of a “hoo, hoo, hooo and then the other is a higher pitched, “hoo, hoo, hooo”…hmmm…wonder what kind “we” have. I adore them. franki

    • Franki, I wonder if your owls are Great Horned Owls. They can sound like that sometimes. Do you have a smart phone or a notebook/iPad? If you do, you can download either the “Peterson Birds of North America” app or the Audubon Guide app that’s for Birds. Both those are great. I think I like the Audubon one best because you can identify birds by shape and for each bird, they normally have 4-5 recordings so you get to hear all the different types of calls they might make. Both those apps have really helped me when I’m trying to identify a bird. They aren’t free but I love them…def worth the initial cost which isn’t that much. I could play/listen to them for hours!


  15. Melody …this is melody! <3

  16. Have you ever heard a barred owl “scream” — sounds just like a blood curdling scream of a female. Woke us from a sound sleep on a camping trip one time. Took us a little while to figure out what it was!!! Enjoyed the audio as well as the “typography” owl at the end.

    • Renee, many years ago I did and it scared the heck out of me. It sounded how you would imagine a woman being stabbed to death might sound. It was a terrifying sound! I was just about to dial 911 when I realized that the screams were always exactly the same, same intensity and same length. I figured if someone was being killed, they wouldn’t scream the exact same scream every few minutes. It’s an awful sound to hear when you don’t know what it is! I think what you and I heard was a Barn Owl. On my Audubon app, the Barn Owl makes that screaming sound and they even label them as “screams.”

  17. Elaine in Laguna says

    Hi Susan, I thought this was amazing. Wow! Thank you for recording and sharing. We don’t have night bug sounds like this. Or many owls! But we had an owl at work for a few days during the daylight hours last year. We think he was lost and confused. But we got a kick out of seeing it. Thanks again for the cool post and recording. You know that I love your blog! PS Can you send a little fall and rain our way?!

  18. OMG….I love the owls calling to each other. I wish we could translate it into our language so we could know exactly what was being said between them. I love that I could hear the crickets and cicadas. I closed my eyes so I would be in the dark while listening and then pictured in my mind that I was on your screened in porch and the trees were dark against the sky. It felt like I was really there and hearing the owls for real. Wonderful. Your camera has a great sound. It is so clear. I could hear the car very clearly. I also her a “clack” like you bumped a table or chair?? Oh, I forgot to tell you….I bought a new camera. I got a Nikon with two lens. It is still in the box because I have not had time to sit and read the instructions. After the LA trip, I knew I needed a camera upgrade plus I want to be just like you when I grow up so a new camera was a necessity!!! Great audio. Thanks for sharing.

    • I know…wish we could, too! Maybe she was grilling him, trying to determine if he would be a good provider if they have some baby owlets together. 🙂 Congrats on your camera, Linda…that’s awesome!

  19. How neat was that?!

  20. Cool! There are owls in the Quingdom, but I never hear them. Everyone in a while I’ll catch a glimpse of one on a silent mission gliding over the squirrel highway in the dark.

    Speaking of night sounds: Last night whilst watching Dancing with the Stars, there was an almighty booming crash on the back patio. It sounded like a rhino (not indigenous to the Quingdom) had launched an attack. The scared the royal…er…you know what out of me. However, upon inspection, the tail end of a much smaller, unidentifiable critter was seen fleeing the scene. It was moving too fast for a raccoon or a possum and it was too big for a roof rat. Might have been a skunk, but it’s more likely that it was a cat that had misjudged the closeness of a branch of the mulberry to the house roof and instead crash landed onto the pergola over the patio. All conjecture, of course, and there’s no evidence of any sort of attack whatsoever. It remains a mystery.

    • Wonder if a cat met up with a skunk and was trying to get the heck out of Dodge! 🙂 That would have scared me, too!

      • Regality (aka The Quing) says

        BoyHowdy, I really need to proofread better (hah! Not likely!).

        That’s certainly one explanation–and it did happen recently with dire results. There’s a black cat in the area that has to be the dumbest creature within miles. Most cats are OCD when it comes to cleaning themselves. Not this one. I saw it wandering by one morning with its face decorated with a spider web and it was totally unconcerned. Maybe it was previewing its Halloween costume?

        Anyway, two or three weeks ago in the evening, l’eau de fitch suddenly started to permeate the castle, so I quickly hobbled around and closed up all the windows and doors–fortunately in time to prevent much infusion. The next morning, there it was again! Grrrr….. Then I saw StupidCat strolling nonchalantly by on the gravel path. Once he
        passed, so did the gross smell.

        • He must be sick because cats are fastidious. That’s so sad about him. I hope someone will take him to the vet and then take him inside to live. Cats can catch so many life-threatening diseases when they live outside.

  21. I love owls I feel they are so beautiful

  22. I adore owls too. Do not see them very often you were very lucky. They are so beautiful and mysterious. Thanks for sharing Susan you are a hoot.

  23. Jenah Parris says

    How cool!I hear everything else around here, but never the owls! Thanks for sharing!

  24. What a special treat you’ve given us! Makes me homesick for country live!

  25. Susan,
    What a beautiful creature. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Okay, this is crazy, sitting here with my screen door open and listening to the owls outside hooting and come across your email! I turned the volume up as far as it would go and I think the computer and the owls outside are talking to each other.

  27. bobbi duncan says

    How cool…I’ve never heard two at once. It almost sounded like laughter at the beginning. All the night sounds actually started lulling me to sleep. LOL. I miss my screened-in porch where we would sleep out on many a cool night. That little baby owl is so-o-o-o adorable! I swear, Susan, you remind me of myself, with your enthusiasm for everything…isn’t it wonderful to have the ability to find joy in life? I’ll tell you, it’s been a life-saver for me when the hard times hit home. Thanks for going out late at night, just to bring us those incredible sounds of nature.

  28. We also have barred owls in the trees behind our house. They must live there because we have been hearing their hoo hoohoo hoo hoo’s for almost 26 years now. We always love hearing their calls. Mating season is another story. They sound like shreiking monkeys. lol

  29. What a nice recording to listen to this morning. We have a pair of owls in our neighborhood and can hear them calling out almost every night. Moving among the trees. It’s just wonderful and amazing to listen to them. I too, love your blog and read it every day. I also have taken your recommendations on books you love and have gotten some to fill the genre in my library. Thanks for writing! Have a fabulous day.

  30. I love this! I need to download that app. I have a book, but the app would be convenient. Unless I’ve been misinterpreting mourning doves, I don’t think I’ve ever heard (or certainly not spotted) owls. Thank you!

  31. Thank you for this treat, Susan. We live far from an area as rural as yours and I can’t believe how calming those night sounds are. I was sitting in front of my computer just listening with my eyes closed and felt like I was there. Wonderful sounds………I really felt like I was sitting in your screened porch! Thanks for sharing. Rosie

  32. I love owls too, Susan, and I really enjoyed listening to your recording. There’s something very comforting to listening to them at night.

    Several months ago, two owls built a nest in one of the large, outdoor window ledges of our building. Eventually two eggs appeared and we got to watch as they hatched and grew. Many people took photos and videos and posted them on the company website for all of us to enjoy. It was a nice break from our regular workdays and it seemed so empty here when they left. We’re all hoping they come back next year.

  33. I really enjoyed hearing your recording of Barred Owls calling. We have Barred Owls where we live (we’re not too far from Goodness Grows nursery, actually) and hear them all the time. In fact, one of our dogs, a terrier mix we found as a stray here, is obsessed with them. I went on YouTube a few months ago to listen to the difference between Barred Owl and Great Horned Owl calls. Our dog completely ignored the Great Horned Owl (we don’t have them here), but the minute the Barred Owls started up she was all over my lap trying to reach the computer! When she heard your owls a few minutes ago, she kept going to the window and looking outside. I have a feeling she may have had a not very pleasant encounter with an owl when she was a stray puppy, and now feels the need to watch out for them when she hears them! Sometimes when I am outside at night I will hoot back at the owls and I can hear them coming closer and closer as they call, but I have yet to see one, mostly because it is just too dark and there are too many trees blocking my view. Have you seen yours?

    • That is so interesting about your doggie…bet he did have an interesting encounter with one. I just got my Birds and Blooms magazine in the mail and sat down to look at it today and wouldn’t you know, the cover piece is about owls. In the magazine article, the author was saying he was once chased by an owl when he accidentally walked near a nest which was in an old half-dead tree. Definitely got his attention! 🙂
      No, I’ve never seen them, just hear them from time to time. I think they are nocturnal and just come out at night. I would love to see one, though! I have seen hawks in my backyard, though…they are amazing, too!

  34. Beautiful photos. It’s wonderful you even heard them much less able to photograph these birds of prey!

  35. Carolyn Price says

    That was wonderful, Susan!! I was on your porch! What a terrific post. Thanks for thinking of us!

  36. Susan, Thank for sharing this I enjoyed it. It is a lovely sound. My hubby and I, and our two boys were lucky enough to see a Barred Owl last year in our backyard early one morning. The wing span…Whoa!!! There are many different kinds of owls. We researched Barred Owls and learned their Whoot is different. The other owls Whoot Whoot. A Barred Owl is more like Whoot Whoot Who cooks for you. Of course you knew that because you identified it in the dark!

    • Thanks, Michelle! It really is different! I just knew what it was from having looked it up in the past on my Audubon Guides app and Peterson Birds of North America app on my iPad. If it weren’t for those, not sure I would have known. I guess I could have googled it, too. Several folks mentioned they sound a little like monkeys. lol They do kind of sound like that at times. I wish I could see one…it’s always too dark out. Have you ever heard a Barn owl…they will scare the heck out of you…sounds like a screaming woman!

      • When I was a teenager my parents took us to a cabin way out in the woods. It turned out to be a great getaway place. But the first time there we must have heard the Barn owl you mention. Same as a screech owl maybe? I don’t know but it was scary. We thought something was killing a cat! If I had been near civilization I would have thought it was a woman. Just you mentioning it has me laughing at the memory and this scene from a funny movie.
        I hope the link works, it is from My Cousin Vinny. Have a great day Susan.

  37. That was pretty cool and I hope you finished what you were working on!

  38. Thank you for posting your Owl recording. I live close in to downtown Charlotte, North Carolina and we have quite a few Owls living in the woods nearby. One must be pretty big and old as his/her hoot is very baritone indeed. I got to see a Brown Hawk the other day while walking my Chihuahau/Jack Russell Terrier mix when the hawk landed on a street light arm. It was much bigger than I expected!

  39. Love the “Who, who cooks for you” call of the Barred owl.

  40. I just listened to your owl post and loved it! I try to find nature sounds on Spotify to lull me to sleep…90 min. ones are the best. Your owls would relax me to sleep! Maybe they have owls…will have to check. We have an orchestra of tree frogs performing symphanies in the spring. One dark night I wanted to record them. I did a candle burning set up on the lanai and focussed on that for quite awhile…at least something to look at while they croak!

    • Thanks, Sharon! I love listening to them, too…could listen for hours. That’s a great idea using them to lull you to sleep. I used to have an app on my iPad that played a variety of nature sounds. I would play it if I was out of town and having trouble sleeping. You know how it’s sometimes hard to fall asleep when you’re not in your own bed. I can’t remember the name of it now. I just googled and found a few sites that list apps for falling asleep to and some are nature sounds.

      That’s a great idea, recording your own, too! You’re are certainly welcome to record the owls I shared. Maybe you could loop it over and over to listen to. I may still have it saved somewhere on my computer. Let me know if you want me to email the recording to you. If so, I’ll look to see if I still have it on my computer.

      • Hi Susan…thanks for your reply! I will look at those links for sleep. And yes would love your owls and crickets video sent to my email. Wonder IF I could loop…? Forgot to mention my rescue kitty, Beamer, also loved the recording! He was at the bottom of the bed when I played it and his eyes grew very large and he listened with great interest! I have 2 back to back 90 min. thunderstorms saved on Spotify…this way I don’t get commercial interruptions on free Spotify…enough time to get to sleep! I also saved a 90 min. Cricket one….never found a decent owl and cricket one like yours although they had a few. OK I better quit rambling…thanks again!

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