Preparing for Hooting Season!

Posted November 4, 2020 by Vindi Sekhon


We tend to associate the Fall months with full moons, falling leaves, and owls. Why owls? It is this time of year when you are most likely to spot an owl as it is nesting season for several species of owls! The owl you are most likely to see during this time is the Great Horned Owl.

Great Horned Owls live throughout North America year-round. They are larger than other North American owls (up to 2 feet in height), and so other owl species will not risk nesting near them.

Want to spot one of these magnificent birds? Here are some helpful tips:

Location: To start, check local websites and bird-watching groups to find out where recent sightings have occurred.


  1. Check weather forecasts to ensure it will be a clear dry night.
  2. Check your local field guide to check which species you are likely to see, and note their markings, calls, and habitats.
  3. Ensure that you are well-rested, have eaten, and dress warmly. Since you likely be waiting in the chilly air, you want to be as comfortable as possible!


  1. A flashlight is important for your safety during nocturnal bird watching. Make sure to point your light towards the ground so you can avoid obstacles and to prevent inadvertently affecting the owls’ night vision.
  2. A pair of binoculars or spotting scope would be useful. Owls can camouflage themselves against the trees they live in, so you will need the extra help spotting them!
  3. An extra heat source like a thermos or hand/foot warmers can come in handy on a chilly fall night.

If there are owl enthusiast groups in your area, join in! Linking up with knowledgeable owl-watchers may help you have an enjoyable and successful experience.

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