Spooky Owls

Spooky Owls

The art featured in this post is that of an Eastern Screech Owl created and provided by Elizabeth Ellison.

I encountered my first screech owl while intending to camp in the woods nearby my childhood home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Two of my cousins and I planned to build a campfire, eat candy, and then squeeze into a two person tent for then night. We didn’t discuss this plan with our parents…we were about eight years of age. My cousins backed out of the undertaking when we met after dinner. I don’t recall the details but it had something to do with their mothers views on the plan. I decided to go it alone.   I thought it was a great adventure until the woods began getting dark with approaching nighttime. I heard many birds giving their final chirps as they settled down for sleep, and then all became quiet. The trees and bushes around me only dimly visible in the waning light, a haunting, demon animal call broke the  peaceful silence. I imagined some horrible creature, like those on all the horror movies my cousins and I frequented at the local theater.  Unknown to me, that was the call of the Eastern Screech Owl. I had my tent disassembled and escaped to a nearby field in under two minutes. That experience and the unique call of a screech owl never left me. They are beautiful, small owls, but their call can be quite creepy to an unknowing susceptible mind. Very spooky owls indeed.

spooky owls

This is the eastern screech owl’s call I heard that evening. They frequently use it for territorial defense.


spooky owl


The owl’s call used by families for routine chats.


spooky owls


I am a fiction writer, but research topics and provide posts like the one above for enlightenment and entertainment. If you liked it, please take a look at some of my other posts and my home page, R. A. Andrade. This topic was prompted by the following passage in my novel, The Field Trip:

…Ross checked her over. Bright red splotches were evident on her cheek and forehead: otherwise, she appeared undamaged. “This is yours,” he said, handing the gun to her before moving to the other side of the room. He knelt down and ran his fingertips over the soft feathers of the fallen bird. “It tried to help you. Damnedest thing I ever saw. I think they might have gotten what they wanted from you if this owl hadn’t given them such a hard time. Wonder why it did that?” He slid his fingers under the bird and lifted it cautiously while rubbing its breast with his thumbs.

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