Back in New York City, my friends complain that garbage trucks wake them up at 5:30 a.m.. serenading them with urban songs in the alleys between the apartment buildings.
This morning at the same time, I was awakened again by our resident owl. He's been around a lot this spring. He wakes me up around 5 a.m. If I hear him while I'm walking Shadow, it's usually very early - just before dawn.
I love owls and used to visit a bird sanctuary at a state park on Long Island, stopping by the owl cages to say hello. So I had to find out more about our friend in Prospect.
I found a great website that helps you identify owls by their call. It's called Owl Calls & Sounds. I had a vague idea of some species that might live on the east coast of America, so I clicked on a few names until I found him.
He's a Great Horned Owl.
Here's what I found out about the Great Horned Owl:
- They are one of the most widely distributed owl species in North America (that means they are common)
- They are about 18-21 inches long
- They like deciduous and conifer trees (good news: maybe they like my pine forest)
- They hunt at night and eat rabbits, rats, squirrels, mice, moles, bats and weasels. If they're hungry enough they will eat porcupines and skunks!