Burrowing Owls Hiss Like a Rattlesnake!



Burrowing Owls and Rattlesnakes

Written by Bob Sundstrom

[Burrowing Owl hooting]

That is BirdNote.

[Burrowing Owl hooting]

The Burrowing Owl’s vocal skills have raised eyebrows amongst birders and scientists alike. [Burrowing Owl hooting] 

As a result of in addition to its double hoots and different calls, the Burrowing Owl is thought for this hair-raising sound: [Burrowing Owl Hiss]

Standing on nearly comically lengthy legs, this yellow-eyed owl could be very energetic in daytime, and its hissing behavior could have advanced to imitate the sibilant warning given by a cornered rattlesnake. This sonic menace of a venomous reptile might be simply sufficient to warn away most undesirable guests from the owl’s nest burrow.  [Burrowing Owl Hiss] 

In a single experiment, floor squirrels have been almost as alarmed by the Burrowing Owl’s hiss as they have been by the recording of an actual rattlesnake like this one. [Rattlesnake] 

Regardless of its title, the Burrowing Owl doesn’t do a lot digging, although. As a substitute, it’s extra of a squatter, nesting and roosting in vacant rodent burrows, usually these of prairie dogs. Till it’s time to eat. Not content material with offering the Burrowing Owl’s accom-modation, rodents – particularly mice – additionally present lunch – effectively, they ARE lunch – with a aspect of enormous bugs. Earlier than the Burrowing Owl retires once more to its principally subterranean life.


Bird sounds offered by The Macaulay Library of Pure Sounds on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Itha-ca, New York. Burrowing Owl 119479 recorded by G. A. Keller; Rattlesnake 107975 recorded by S. R. Pantle. Burrowing Owl Rattlesnake Mimic recording courtesy of Jeff Rice for the Acoustic Atlas at Montana State College.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and performed by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Government Producer: Dominic Black
© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org    August 2014/2017  July 2022 Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#       BUOW-03-2014-08-27   BUOW-03 


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