• Why might owls make monkey sounds?


    I was camping in Headwaters Park & kept hearing what sounded like a monkey. Then while hiking, we saw 2 owls in the trees taking turns screeching back & forth. We figured out it was barred owls making both sounds. Do their monkey sounds mean something different than when they were taking turns screeching?

    Naturalist's Response

    Thanks for your interesting observation about the Barred Owls.  They can make all kinds of strange sounds.  The “monkey-type” calls are part of their normal song; they say “who ,who, who cooks for you” or sometimes “hooo-awww” or a mixture of both.  The screeching noises are usually made by the young birds that have recently fledged and are still wanting their parents to feed them. So those screeching noises are begging calls.

    Maybe the young owls were practicing their songs and asking their parents for food, too!

    -Naturalist Linda Gilbert