Letter: Owls are back | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letter: Owls are back

Yes, the owls are back! I haven’t seen them for about a year, but last night one of them flew above me (about 10 feet) near the casinos. I looked up just in time to see the “Tiger of the Sky,” as the great horned owl is sometimes called, passing overhead on silent wings. All owls, as you know, have very soft plumage that’s conducive to silent flight. They need that advantage when hunting for prey at night. The great horned has a 4-foot-7-inch wingspan, almost 5 feet. So yeah, they’re big! They need a silent approach. Owls rock!

When the “Tiger of the Sky” is on the hunt, all other animals from the size of a rat to a goose have to watch out because the horned owl will tackle just about anything — even the remains of skunks (one of its favorite prey) has been found in its nests. Cats and small dogs have to be careful, too. So keep a close eye on your pets at night. I read once where a great horned and a goshawk (which is a fierce bird in itself) fought to the death over a rabbit; neither hawk nor owl survived.

So, the next time you hear the deep hoot hooting of the “Hoot Owl” (another name for the great horned owl) you are hearing the sound of a “Tiger of the Sky” in your area. Just thought you’d like to know more about our resident great horned owls.

Tahoe keep rockin’ and listening for the owls!

Theodore R. Harris III

South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

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