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Owl problems

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  • Owl problems

    This has been going on for about 4 years. The neighborhood owls have decided our front yard is their 'get-together' spot. I DO mean get together. About 6 or 8 of them. Let me tell you they are LOUD, and obvious
    We had major upheaval in the form of a new septic system, they don't mind. They start at about 2 and continue till almost dawn.
    It only happens 2 or three times a year, usually when the windows are open
    Anyone got Owl-be-gone, or other rid-an-owl ideas?
    Functioning on about 3 hours sleep.

  • #2
    Distraction noises might help, leave the radio on, run a fan in the window or wear ear plugs. Not sure what time you need to get up in the morning, because ear plugs might help mask the alarm. I find the running fan covers a LOT of morning noise on days I sleep in.

    We use the cheapy construction ear plugs, and they do mask the "noise" factor when working. You can talk and hear with them, but background noise is really reduced. They are rated for high noise protection, better than the ear muff styles.

    Sorry the owls are at your house, we love them here, talking at night. We do have a local pair that hunt in winter, talk to each other. The BIG owls make different sounds, so we usually only hear them when migrating or in winter when they come down from the north because of severe cold.

    Summers we never hear them. Perhaps yours are pairing up for the season? You could send them over here anytime.


    • #3
      We have barn owls, tawny owls, little owls on the farm.

      We love them..... Love to see them this time of year when it doesn't get dark till after 10pm and it's light by 4am so they're out in daylight hunting for their young.

      They don't half keep the vermin down. They're an absolute boon on the farm and take a mass of rats, young rabbits, mice, voles etc etc.

      They do "talk" to each other but to be honest where we live, it's about the only noise we ever have ..... well this time of year, there's a lot of lambs baa'ing and so we're pretty much used to it and NOTHING keeps me awake!


      • Original Poster

        Oh it sounds like they are 'pairing up' all the reseach I have done says they get it done (that sounds rude) Jan. or Feb. They are Great Horned, and while I do really love them around they are pretty darned scary. I had one smack into my windshield once, and picked it up and drove home with it to take care of it it was only stunned and by the time my poor brother had found nothing broken felt it twitch and told me to open the door FAST. Then lectured me about putting it in the back seat. I should of course put it in the trunk.
        We can sit in our yard at night and count how many we can hear, it was 18 at the highest count. I am going to try and tape them tonight, it's usually two or three nights running and then they come back in late summer.
        O.K. I have to say it, please please forgive me
        They are having a Hootanny. (maybe nobody will notice that)


        • #5
          Originally posted by harveyhorses View Post
          Oh it sounds like they are 'pairing up' all the reseach I have done says they get it done (that sounds rude) Jan. or Feb. They are Great Horned, and while I do really love them around they are pretty darned scary. I had one smack into my windshield once, and picked it up and drove home with it to take care of it it was only stunned and by the time my poor brother had found nothing broken felt it twitch and told me to open the door FAST. Then lectured me about putting it in the back seat. I should of course put it in the trunk.
          We can sit in our yard at night and count how many we can hear, it was 18 at the highest count. I am going to try and tape them tonight, it's usually two or three nights running and then they come back in late summer.
          O.K. I have to say it, please please forgive me
          They are having a Hootanny. (maybe nobody will notice that)

          HAHAHAHA throw some mice on the grill! sounds like your place is the IT place!


          • #6
            They are great horned owls!? They are LOUD!

            I wish we had owls though

            Can you borrow a neighbour's collie? That may gently convince them to move on to a new spot - I'd send you mine they are excellent at geese, sea gulls and pidgeons
            "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
            Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
            Need You Now Equine


            • #7
              I could not imagine who would have problems with...owls?

              They generally are not that many around. We have several and they do hoot-hoot many times thru the night, but I don't even notice it and definitively don't consider it noise pollution.
              I can see where more than a few may become a little annoying.
              One took care of some pest pigeon in the barn, all what was left was a few feathers.

              Have you tried hanging around some of those big plastic owls?
              They may be scared of them, nothing else around here is.


              • #8
                For the benefits they offer, I say be a gracious hostess and let them use your yard for their gatherings if it's only a few times a year.
                Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement


                • #9
                  Oh - I would be so thrilled to have owls so close!

                  We've got several species here, but they hang out in the riparian buffer not around the house. So soothing... except for the occasional screaming. Sounds like a woman being murdered.

                  I'll trade you your owls for my rooster, Chucky. He starts crowing at 4am right outside my bedroom window.
                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                  -Rudyard Kipling


                  • #10
                    That is so funny! I've never heard of owls having a gathering place. I heard one the other night not far away.

                    Jessie..Chucky would be stew at my house crowing at 4 am!


                    • Original Poster

                      Sounds like a woman being murdered.

                      Yep those lovely hooo hooo, turns ugly especially at 2 am in the tree 15 feet from my bedroom window. I admit to having peeled myself off the ceiling more than once.
                      I do worry about my cats a little, but the cats do seem to have some respect.
                      We did find a dead one last fall after one of these get togethers.
                      Prompted a friend to suggest they were having a family reunion that had gone bad.
                      Now that I am no longer sleep deprived I will acknowledge how lucky I am to be owl central. I am going to try some high-tech stuff, a friend has a motion activated video camera that I want to set up, but it is so random that they do this...
                      I tried asking our extention agent if he knew anything about owl behavior. NO. (Idjit.)

                      P.S. JSwan you can keep Chucky, my grandfather many many moons ago had fighting cocks, which instilled a lifelong fear of roosters.


                      • #12
                        I *wish* I had owls. I hear them once in a while...but not often. I've got tons of other raptors...not many owls at all. LOVE owls...so cool. I love watching them fly close by...completely silent. Stealth fliers...very cool. Nothing like the 4 dingbat crows who live on the cell tower near my house. Those things are noisy as heck...both verbally and flying. "woosh, woosh, woosh" every time they buzz me when I'm outside.

                        JSwan...if you're lucky maybe an owl will get Chucky?
                        You jump in the saddle,
                        Hold onto the bridle!
                        Jump in the line!


                        • #13
                          Before you do anything too obvious, remember that owls, like all birds of prey, are protected under FEDERAL law.

                          You are lucky to have them.

                          Perhaps run the sprinkler?



                          • Original Poster

                            One of the neighbors put one of the plastic owls out for his garden, it was destroyed one morning, ripped to ribbons.

                            They don't do much for our mole population, but there are no field mice to be found.

                            I don't actually want to 'do' anything, just wanted to see if anyone knew something to discourage them. There have been owls in this area for 40 years, and I mean LOTS of owls. a dozen that we knew of growing up. Just weird behavior I thought. I think it might be a territory dispute since there are so many of them around. I should not take them for granted, I will enjoy them.


                            • #15
                              you know what, since it's only a few days every year, get yourself a bottle of the good stuff, sleep should be no problem afterward!


                              • #16
                                2-3 times a year, that's all? Count your blessings that they have chosen your place
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                                • #17
                                  Harveyhorse, if it sounds like a woman being murdered, I think it could be a barn owl. They make a variety of unnerving sounds. Sorry for your loss of sleep, but I am very jealous of your owl neighbors. Can you see them in the evenings, or do you just hear them?
                                  I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                                  I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                                  • #18
                                    SOunds like a woman being murdered? Never heard that sound from owls, but have heard it from cougars.

                                    Horned owls WILL take your cats without batting an eye. They also take skunks and festoon the trees with the stinking remains. Several years ago, smell of skunk was gag you strong on the yard, and got worse as I walked towards the shop from the barn. Owl had caught a skunk, eaten part of it and draped the remains in a tree for a snack. It was pretty gross even after the owl ate the rest of the skunk because the musk had permeated the tree. Nasty nasty.
                                    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                                    Member: Incredible Invisbles


                                    • #19
                                      Owls are so cool. I love it when I see them...and they've done a great job keep pigeons out of my indoor.

                                      "Screaming like a woman being murdered" = Screech Owl. Small little things, but they'll make the hair stand up on the back of your neck when you hear them.

                                      I have great horned that I hear sometimes and have also had a barn owl visit (they're very cute to look at). Year ago, when I heard the geese raising hell at around 10 p.m. on the pond, I turned on the floods and saw a great horned, standing waist deep in water. It had drown a mallard. It was too heavy to carry off so she (I presume a parent feeding young), would dismember a part of it and fly off, only to return about 20 minutes later to repeat. In the a.m. I found only one duck feather.

                                      It was pretty awesome to watch her fly in -- huge thing. Kind of creepy, but cool.
                                      www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                                      "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                                      Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


                                      • Original Poster

                                        I am begining to wonder if it might be a territory dispute between breeds, or whatever. The first time it happened we ran outside and right back in because there were two great horned ON our sidewalk, but from the descriptions of sounds we have more than one variety. I AM lucky, just keeping the cats in.
                                        the one we found dead was a screech. I think.
                                        Now if they would send out announcments "We will be converging on the Harvey residence at 2:10 am on the 18th of May" I would be delighted.