This was the first time we had actually seen a Great Horned Owl hoot, although we had heard them on many evenings. Marolyn and I realized we had never seen a photo of a Great Horned Owl hooting.
The owl would lean forward, raise its tail, expand its throat, and hoot. We were amazed at how soft the sound is even though it carries so well in the quiet woods. The white feathers on its neck are barely visible until it hoots. I assume it's a display to either attract females or warn other males.
Notice how dilated the owl's eyes are - an indication of just how dark it was.
This whole experience lasted less than 10 minutes. As always, our objective is to observe, not disturb, so we drove away suspecting the owl was convinced he had successfully defended his turf.
As much time as Marolyn and I spend in the wild, there are alway new sights and animal behavior to see and experience.
Post by Marolyn & Skeeter Lasuzzo
Photos by Skeeter Lasuzzo
For more photos of wildlife, information about Hagerman NWR and activities there, see