Because I had the windows open overnight, I got to hear a Barred Owl.
The Barred Owl’s hooting call, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?” is a classic sound of old forests and treed swamps. But this attractive owl, with soulful brown eyes and brown-and-white-striped plumage, can also pass completely unnoticed as it flies noiselessly through the dense canopy or snoozes on a tree limb. Originally a bird of the east, during the twentieth century it spread through the Pacific Northwest and southward into California.
Thanks to my 1962 Field Guide to the Birds and the recordings of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, I was able to recognize the distinctive hoots of this bird. I can now add it to my life list.
If you think it’s unusual to hear a denizen of old forests and treed swamps in the suburbs of Miami, remember that I live in a part of the county that still has such growth. And at times when I’m coming to work at my office, which is just north of downtown Miami, I hear roosters crowing in the pre-dawn darkness.