When Ward issues his classic hoot, he puts everything he has into it as he is seen doing here. There can be no mistaking him for an inexperienced owl that might be challenged for territory, or one that lacks the hunting skills needed to provide for a family. As he started a series of these powerful hoots just after dark on August 22nd, it appeared that his calls would again go unanswered as they had for more than two months. Undaunted, he repeated his call until the higher pitched response of a female was heard in the distance. He then quickened the pace of his calls as she moved closer and both could be heard landing on the rail of the nest box. They then engaged in this frenzied duet which made it clear that they already have plans for next spring. I have since heard them engage in several classic duets, and June has landed on the rail twice to assert her ownership with the hwu-hwu call. There are no longer any cobwebs visible in the nest box.
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