Screech Owl sounds (new audio format)
April 30, 2007
The above image is a sonogram of Mrs. Ace making her after-dusk whinny calls.
To find out what it's all about, and hear what it's all about, read and listen on....
[Note: Even if you haven't been able to open earlier audio files, you should be able to open these.]
During the past week, I have been working with owl researchers to record Mrs. Ace's voice as she whinnied.
Bruce Marcot and David Johnson of the Global Owl Project liked her voice, and because of the screech-cam and microphone, we had a means of obtaining some decent recordings of her.
One night over the course of an hour, I captured countless whinnies and a nifty food exchange onto a large sound file.
I sent the digital file to Bruce, and he was able to process the sounds, clean them up, and even do sonograms of them.
The idea, in the words of Bruce, is to post the recordings on OwlPages.Com and also use the sound files for the Global Owl Project's science use & owl vocalizations repository.
Adds David Johnson, executive director of the Global Owl Project, "It has become clear to me that the playback of the whinny calls from both the males and females are the 'calls of choice' for survey and monitoring work.
"The use of these calls in a playback contact is likely to improve the odds in getting a response from the owls by at least 10 times greater than from listening-only. This is truly significant."
In short, Mrs. Ace's voice just might become a call of choice for screech owl censuses and other research.
Here is a sampling of the sounds and sonograms, with a word of caution from Bruce:
"Please note that it is NOT recommended to play these. or other, owl sound files in the field unless you are conducting very specific scientific research.
"Soliciting responses by owls or other wildlife from playing their sounds can very easily disrupt their breeding, make them vulnerable to predators, and unnecessarily disturb them."
(The clicking sounds are Mrs. Ace flying up to the opening, then returning to the bottom of the nesting box after the food exchange.)