You’re walking your dog late on a quiet North Shore lane. You hear an owl. And you just know that old bird is mocking you.
He’s in the shadows of a tall tree above, and he’s going, whew, whew-whew. Why would you think this is directed at you?
On this very street a few years ago, you were driving along when you suddenly noticed an owl on the pavement, lit up in your headlights. It spread giant wings and rose as you slammed the brakes. He almost crashed into your windshield, but flew over your roof with inches to spare, disappearing into the night. Close call!
No wonder you shouted, “Whew!”
Who could blame you? Now, when you walk your dog on that dark street, you hear this mocking whew! Then, whew–whew! And you know. Owls have great hearing.
The one you almost collided with surely overheard your shocked “Whew!” through the open car window. Now he’s playing with you.
Owls are known for memory, longevity and wisdom. This one’s not just wise, but a wise guy.
This column was adapted by Mike Lubow from his book: Wild Notes: Observations over time about birds and other fleeting things. Available on amazon.com.