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Who Goes There?

We wanted a new holiday tradition that would take us into the woods. "Owl Moon was a chlidhood favorite so we thought we'd give Owling a try. First, we contacted our local Wildlife folks to learn more about these raptors and where to listen and look. On a moon lit night this December we followed our guide into the woods at Meandon Ponds NY. Family and friends join in as we walked slowly down a well defined trail in silence. Screetch Owl sounds rang out from a Cornell University Ornethology cell phone app...and we waited. No answer. It went on like this for some time. These little owls are the first to come out at dusk but tonight they seemed to be sleeping in. We traveled deeper into the woods.

Next a call rang out for the Great Horned Owl. Again and again...nothing. But we were delighted to just be trying. Here in the deep woods on a snowy Solstice night was magic. You could hear every movement of life in the stillness.

Patience is the most useful thing you can bring to go Owling...and of course a good listening ear.

Just about the time we were to end our expedition, we heard them...a mating pair, moving closer and closer to the mimic sound from the phone.

They called out and then called back and forth to one another. We learned it was mating season and it seemed they had found the love they were looking for high in the dense branches of the forest. We listened to them for as long as we were able.

As we headed back towards home, the haunting calls stayed with me...a beautiful, natural gift of the season.

I was not alone in my appreciation. This event proved to be one of the best holiday gifts we recieved...and we are still talking about it...and still with a more informed ear!

Learn more about Wildwings adventures-

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