What Sound Does An Owl Make – How To Identify If An Owl Is Near Your Property 

Are you wondering what sound does an owl make? Owls are one of the most commonly misidentified birds in North America. Despite their unique appearance and nocturnal habits, they are often mistaken for hawks or even eagles.

Owls are often considered majestic and sometimes even eerie. Regardless of if you love or fear them, they are some of the most beautiful and mysterious birds to lay eyes on. Owls also have many different vocalizations, each with a specific purpose. This can make determining what sound does an owl make somewhat tricky.

If you’re wondering if you have an owl nearby, you’ve come to the right place. Join us today as we talk about what sound does an owl make along with other signs you might have an owl nearby.

The Most Common Owls You’ll See And Hear In The United States

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Owls are widely misunderstood and fascinating birds.

Before we dive into what sound does an owl make, let’s talk about owls.

Owls are birds of prey that mainly hunt small mammals and other birds. They have a distinctive facial disc, or “face mask,” which is a group of feathers that surround the eyes and make the owl look larger than it really is. The feathers of an owl’s face mask can be up to six inches long.

Owls are found all over the world except in Australia and Antarctica. There are about 250 species of owls throughout the world; some of them live in deserts, some live in forests, and some live in grasslands. Some even live in the mountains! In North America, there are around 30 owl species flying the night skies.

Perhaps one of the most famous features of an owl is its eyes. Owl eyes are specially adapted for hunting at night. Their pupils open wider than those of most other animals so they can see clearly in low light conditions without having to rely on their sense of smell to track prey down. The size of an owl’s eyes also allows them to see in 3D, which helps them spot prey hiding beneath leaves or under branches. Owl eyes even have reflective cells called tapetum lucidum that bounce light back into the retina so they can see better in dim light conditions.

The consensus on owls in the United States is mixed. Some people find them fascinating while others find them synonymous with all things creepy and scary. After all, the haunting “hoot” of an owl is often the first thing heard at the beginning of scary movies or in thematic Halloween music.

Still, owls are incredibly beneficial animals, helping to keep pest populations under control. Owls’ diet varies depending on the species and location. In North America, common prey includes mice, rats, rabbits, squirrels, snakes, and other small mammals such as weasels or skunks. Other birds are also hunted occasionally such as smaller songbirds or water birds like ducks or geese.

Though there are over 30 species of owls living in North America, many species are reclusive and live in seclusion in forests and woodlands. However, there are some species that live in close proximity to humans and human homes or businesses.

If you’re asking yourself what sound does an owl make, you’re likely wondering about one of the below species.

Eastern and Western Screech-Owls:

The Eastern Screech-Owl is found throughout the eastern United States, from Maine to Florida, west to Minnesota, and Texas. The Western Screech-Owl occurs in the western states from California to Alaska. Both have brownish plumage with white spots on their chests and white “eyebrows” above their eyes. They can be distinguished by their calls: Eastern Screech-Owls have a two-part call (hoo hoo) while Western Screech-Owls have a one-part call (hoot).

Barred Owls:

Barred Owls are found throughout most of the United States except for the Southeast, where they are replaced by the very similar Great Horned Owl. Their range spans from southern Canada to northern Mexico and across much of Central America. Barred Owls are dark brown or gray with large white bars on their wings, breast, and neck feathers; they have yellow eyes with red pupils and yellow legs with black talons. Their diet consists mostly of small rodents such as mice and voles but may include birds, small snakes, amphibians, and insects.

Great Horned Owls:

The great horned owl is one of the most widely distributed birds in North America. This large owl can be found from Canada to Central America and throughout much of the United States. It is usually gray in color with white spots on its head and breast, but some individuals may appear brownish or rufous-brown instead. The great horned owl is also easily identified by its huge ear tufts, which resemble horns on either side of its head. Great horned owls hunt at night and feed on mammals such as rabbits, skunks, and raccoons as well as birds such as quail and grouse.

Snowy Owls:

These are the most popular of all owls in the United States. They are large, beautiful, and can be found in many different locations across North America. Snowy Owls have white bodies with black bars on their chest and back. The rest of their feathers are white as well. Their wings are short and rounded. Their eyes are yellow, which makes them easy to spot against the snow in winter when they hunt for prey. This owl is often seen during migration on top of power lines and telephone poles along the highways.

Short-Eared Owls:

These small, nocturnal birds are not as common as they used to be, though it is possible to have one of these on your property depending on where you live. They do prefer to live in marshes, meadows, and woodlands and they eat small mammals like mice, voles, and rabbits. Short-eared owls have excellent hearing and eyesight which helps them hunt their prey at night.

Barn Owls:

The barn owl is the most widespread species of owl in the world. There are about 48 different types of barn owls, but only one species is native to North America, which is the Eastern Barn Owl). This bird has a white face with black spots around its eyes. It has a brown body and wings with long tufts on its back. Barn owls are typically nocturnal, hunting at night and sleeping during the day. They usually live alone or in small family groups. When they are not hunting, they spend most of their time roosting in large trees or high on the sides of barns or other buildings where they have good views of their surroundings.

Pros And Cons Of Having An Owl Near Your Property

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There are pros and cons to having owls on your property.

Knowing what sound does an owl make can help you identify what you’re dealing with. Owls are among the most fascinating birds that exist today. They have the ability to fly silently and are very graceful in the air. They are also one of the few birds that can be seen and heard at night because they have large eyes and ears that help them detect prey. There are a few different species of owls in the United States, and there are pros and cons to having owls on your property.


As we’ve mentioned, owls are one of the most interesting birds to study. From their unique appearance to their distinct ways of hunting, they are a fascinating group of birds. Owls are also very beneficial to humans and other animals.

Owls are nocturnal birds of prey that hunt at night. They have very good eyesight and can see in the dark. Owls use the “perch and wait” approach to hunting, sitting still on high perches and waiting for prey to come by. Once an owl spots its prey, it will fly silently down from its perch and grab it with its powerful talons.

Owls have a huge impact on rodent populations because they feed mainly on small mammals like mice and rats which can spread disease and cause damage to crops and buildings. Some even eat insects like mosquitoes! Owls eat around one-third of their body weight each day so they need to eat a lot to sustain themselves. If there are too many rodents in an area, the owls can help reduce their numbers and in turn help control pest populations for humans.


Owls are mostly beneficial, but they can be a problem for humans. This is one of the reasons it’s so important to know what sound does an owl make.

Though owls are beneficial, owls can also pose a problem to people because they are predators that hunt other animals. This means that they are a natural part of the ecosystem and their place in the environment can be important for the balance of the food chain. However, on the other hand, owls also become problematic for humans when they attack livestock and domesticated animals such as cats and dogs. In some cases, these attacks are fatal for the animal being hunted.

There are many types of owls that can be problematic for humans, including barn owls, screech owls, and great horned owls. These birds have different types of diets depending on their location in the world and what type of prey is available for them to eat at any given time. Some species feed mainly on insects while others prefer larger animals such as rodents or small mammals like rabbits or squirrels.

Some species of owl also feed on medium-sized birds such as ducks or chickens which makes them a threat to farms where these birds may be raised for meat production or egg production. In some cases, it’s possible for an entire flock of chickens to be killed by an aggressive owl who targets them as prey.

What Sound Does An Owl Make? Different Vocalizations Of Common Owl Species In The United States

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Owls make a variety of sounds outside of their famous hooting.

So, what sound does an owl make? The different vocalizations of an owl include hooting, hissing, and screeching.

Hooting is the most common vocalization of an owl. It can be heard at night and day and is used as a warning call to other birds.

Hissing is another common vocalization of owls you should know about when asking what sound does an owl make, and it can be heard at night and during the day. This type of sound is used as a defensive method for scaring away predators or intruders.

Screeching is similar to hissing but louder, with higher-pitched sounds that are often heard during mating season or when territorial disputes occur between owls.

Of course, there are different vocalizations owls make depending on their species as well, and if you’re asking yourself what sound does an owl make, it can help to know about the different vocalizations to help determine which type of owl you are dealing with.

Eastern and Western Screech-Owls:

What sound does an owl make if the owl is an Eastern or Western Screech owl?

When it comes to what sound does an owl make, let’s start with screech owls.Screech owls are probably one of the most recognizable and popular birds in North America. They are known for their shrill, ear-piercing calls that can be heard from a distance.

Their hoots are used for communication between males and females during courtship and when defending territory from other male screech owls. They also use hoots to communicate with each other when hunting or defending their nest from predators. Screech owls also have a distinctive “sneezing” call which can be heard when they are incubating eggs or roosting during the daytime in tree cavities.

Barred Owls:

The barred owl has many different vocalizations, including a variety of hoots, screeches, and growls. This can make it tricky to determine what you’re dealing with when looking at what sound does an owl make.

The barred owl’s most common call is known as the “who-who-who” hoot. This call sounds like three birds calling in unison and is used by both males and females during courtship, as well as by young owls begging for food from their parents. The male’s call is usually deeper than the female’s, but both sexes make this sound using air sacs located in their chest cavity.

Barred owls also have several other vocalizations such as hisses and screams that they use when threatened or in distress.

Great Horned Owls:

What sound does an owl make if it’s a Great Horned Owl? The great horned owl has two types of calls: territorial and display calls. Territorial calls include long howls that vary in pitch and volume. Display calls are used by males for courtship rituals during the breeding season; they are loud high-pitched cries that may last for up to 20 seconds at a time.

When it comes to what sound does an owl make, the Great Horned Owl makes deep hoots made by both sexes, but female hoots are higher pitched than those of males. Juveniles tend to make higher-pitched calls than adults, especially when being fed by their parents

Snowy Owls:

There are at least four snowy owl calls that you should know about when looking at what sound does an owl make.

The “kek-kek-kek” is what you hear when a snowy owl gives its signature call. It’s a series of three to five notes that can be heard at dawn and dusk.

“Kee-yow” is another common call, often heard during mating season or when the birds are defending their territory.

“Kraa-a-a,” which sounds like a shriek, is used by snowy owls to defend themselves against predators or intruders into their territory.

Finally, there’s a loud whistle that’s often given while they’re flying low over the ground in search of prey.

Short-Eared Owls:

The call of the short-eared owl is a series of quick, high-pitched whistles, and is distinctive when it comes to what sound does an owl make. The breeding season begins in April or May when males begin their courtship displays by calling and flying high into the air.

They make a variety of other noises as well that you would want to be aware of when looking at what sound does an owl make including hisses, clicks, whistles, and growls to communicate with each other. The sounds of this species are described as a sharp quack or quack-quack-quack (3 syllables), while its song consists of a series of fast whistles that gradually become slower at the end.

Barn Owls:

What sound does an owl make if it’s a barn owl? The barn owl has many different calls that it uses for different situations. One of these calls is known as “hoo” or “hooo” and it is used to announce that an enemy has been spotted. The barn owl will also call out warnings to its mate when danger approaches them while they are hunting together. This call sounds like “woohoo-woohoo-woohoo” or “wooooot, woooot, woooot”.

Understanding the answer to what sound does an owl make can help you identify if you’re dealing with owls, although there are also other signs of owls nearby that can help you determine what you are dealing with.

Other Common Signs An Owl Is Nearby

4 a side view of an owl
Along with sounds, owls leave a variety of other clues.

What sound does an owl make? We often think of owl sounds as consisting of a couple of “hoots” and nothing more. However, we now know that the answer to what sound does an owl make is not so black and white.

Owls make a variety of sounds including screeches, hoots, growls, and more. If you live near an owl’s habitat and have been hearing these sounds of an owl, there’s a good chance you have an owl nearby. However, there are other common signs of owls outside of knowing what sound does an owl make that can help you identify if these birds are really around.

Here are some more signs that an owl is near your home or property:

Screeching: We know when asking what sound does an owl make that sounds consist of more than just hoots. Owls also screech as a way to communicate with other owls and scare off predators. They do this during the day as well as at night. If you hear screeching in your backyard or on your back porch, there’s a good chance there’s an owl nearby.

Droppings: Like most birds, owls poop wherever they roost for the night — usually on branches or rooftops. If you find droppings from an owl in your yard or outside a window, it means there’s an owl nearby.


Along with knowing what sound does an owl make, you should also look for feathers. If you find owl feathers around your house or property, then chances are good that an owl has been visiting recently. These birds shed their feathers all year long, so finding a few stray feathers here or there isn’t too concerning. But if you find dozens or hundreds of feathers in one place (such as on your lawn), then chances are good that an owl has been nesting nearby.

Owl Pellets:

Owl pellets are regurgitated food that contains bones and fur from their prey. The size and shape of these pellets can vary greatly depending on what the owl has eaten recently, but they often resemble tiny oblong-shaped objects with small holes throughout them. These pellets can be found on lawns, sidewalks, driveways, and other areas where the owl has been active. If you were to dissect the pellets, you would find fur, bones, and other undigested evidence of an owl’s most recent meal.

Small Animal Remains:

Owls will often leave behind the remains of their prey after they feed. This can include anything from feathers to bones and even fur. A good way to determine that an owl has been around your property is to look for these remains in areas where there are no trees or tall bushes for the owls to perch on.

A Musky Odor:

Knowing what sound does an owl make can be helpful, but so can knowing about what smells owls leave behind. If you notice a foul odor around your yard, in a shed, in a barn, or near your home, it could be an indicator that there is an owl roosting nearby. Owls give off a strong musky smell that can be detected by humans as well as other animals.

Roosting Debris:

Owls often live in trees, so if you see a large number of feathers or other debris on your roof or fence line, this could be a sign that an owl is nesting nearby. Roosting debris can include feathers, pellets (small round waste products), and even droppings.

How To Repel Owls Using Common Products

5 an owl on a tree branch
Owls can be beneficial to have on your property, but they can also cause some issues.

Now that you know what sound does an owl make, you should have a better idea of if you’re dealing with an owl. And while owls are amazing, they can be problematic to have around your home or property.

If you want to repel owls, it’s important to use safe products and do so humanely. Owls are sensitive animals and are easy to get rid of using a few common methods of removal. Below are a few of our favorite products you can use to repel owls now that you know what sound does an owl make.

Abilly Store Solar Animal Repeller

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Abilly Store Solar Animal Repeller is a solar-powered device that can be used to repel birds like owls and other animals from your property. It is also effective in repelling rodents, foxes, and cats from your house.

The product features two ultrasonic speakers and a solar panel that charges the device. The device works by emitting high-frequency sound waves that irritate or frighten away animals that are within range of the device.

The Abilly Store Solar Animal Repeller is ideal for use on your patio or balcony where it can be placed on a table or window sill. The device will work effectively day and night as long as it has sufficient sunlight (or artificial light), to charge.

Bird-X BirdXPeller Pro Electronic Bird Repeller

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The Bird-X BirdXPeller Pro Electronic Bird Repeller is a powerful device designed to repel owls and other birds. The unit operates using a high-frequency sound that is inaudible to people but can be heard by birds like owls.

The repeller has two settings — one for daytime use, and one for nighttime use — which allows you to protect your home or property at all hours of the day.

The unit emits an ultra-high frequency sound that is inaudible to humans, but highly irritating to birds. The repeller also uses a motion detector to detect approaching birds and automatically emit a burst of ultrasonic sound when they come within range.

Magic Cat Solar Nocturnal Animal Repeller

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The Magic Cat Solar Nocturnal Animal Repeller is a motion-activated device that uses light and sound to scare away pesky nocturnal animals now that you know what sound an owl make. This product has been proven to be effective in repelling animals such as owls, raccoons, skunks, and possums.

The product is made of high-quality materials that will last for years. It comes complete with a solar panel that allows you to use the product without having to change batteries.

Is It Good Or Bad To Have Owls On Your Property? Experts Weigh In

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Deciding on if you want owls on your property or not is a personal choice.

Owls are one of the most popular birds to attract to your property. They are beautiful, interesting and fun to watch. But, is it a good idea to have them around?

The answer is not so black and white, as we’ve now covered. So, now that we know what sound does an owl make, let’s take a look at what experts have to say about having owls on your property.

First, remember that owls are beneficial for your ecosystem because they eat rats, rodents, and other small pests.

They also eat insects such as beetles and grasshoppers which are pests that can destroy crops if left untreated.

With that said, owls can also be problematic if they roost in sheds or barns. They can cause damage by leaving behind an accumulation of waste, and some larger owls have been known to attack domesticated animals like chickens, ducks, and even pets like small dogs and cats.

If you do want an owl on your property and you’ve learned what sound an owl make, you now have the ability to identify owls a bit better. However, if you don’t want owls on your property, there are several methods you can use to repel them, as we mentioned above.

We hope this has been a helpful guide on what sound does an owl make. Now that you know what sound does an owl make, tell us if you would let an owl hang around your property in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading!
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