why do owls hoot

Why Do Owls Hoots? It’s Not About Bad Omen

One of the most fascinating birds of prey known would probably be the owl. They’re very mysterious birds that tend to remain out of sight. But that only increases the interests people have in them. However, there are plenty of myths surrounding owls. Most people say their hoots are bad omens, some say seeing them brings bad luck and others believe that they are related to death. So, why do owls hoot? Are they really bad omens or is it just a myth?

Reasons Why Owls Hoot – Hearing an owl hoot three times

Talking has never been seen as a bad omen, and that is the exact same thing owls do when they hoot. They make sounds which are their own way of communicating with other members of their species. The owl hooting omen is just a superstitious belief that has been passed down for generations.

There are various reasons why owls hoot, each hoot has specific sound variations that portray the different meanings. Sometimes you can start hearing an owl hoot three times, this could probably have a different meaning to when you hear them hoot four times. Each sound has a unique meaning. Here are a few reasons why owls hoot

Why Do Owls Hoot in The Morning?

Owls hoot in the morning to protect their territories. This is one of the main reasons why owls hoot. Owls are generally known to not make their own nests. Instead, they take over nests of dead birds or birds that have abandoned their nests. Once they occupy this nest, they hoot to send a message to other owls, informing them that the nest has been claimed. It’s like a “stay away, this is mine” tactic.

This hunt for territories happens mostly in the night because owls are nocturnal birds; although there are a few owls that are not nocturnal. Owls are believed to have the best night vision in the entire animal kingdom. They rest through the day and move in the night, that’s why you hear their hoots mostly in the night.

Because they are mostly nocturnal birds, hearing an owl hoot in the morning is extremely rare but sometimes it can happen. An owl would call out in the morning if they feel their young ones are in danger. This call is usually to alert its partner to come protect the nest.

Owls Hoot for Defense

When an owl feels threatened, it begins to attack its enemy or it makes loud screeching sounds which either scares off the attacker or the attacker is defeated in the attack. 

Also, if an owl sees something out of place or anything that feels threatening to them, their mates or their territory in general, they hoot; the sound is usually like a pitched barking sound. This sound scares off any unwelcomed guest. When you’re hearing an owl hoot in the morning, this is probably one of the reasons.

Owls hoot when courting

Similar to coyotes who howls to attract a mate, owls hoot is when they’re trying to attract mates into their territories. Male owls use a special hoot to attract females to their territory. They also make sure that other males stay out of their nest and stay away from them entirely to avoid competition.

Most owls give off a deep hoot and wait for the female to return the same hoot in a higher pitch. The courtship also involves them chasing each other while calling out loudly to one another.

Mates who are courting are not the only set of owls that hoot during mating season. Some owls mate to just one partner for life. During the mating season, the already mated owls communicate with a special type of hoot. This communication can mean that they are reaffirming their bond.

Owls have to communicate with their species too, so before you ask: why do owls hoot? Ask yourself why humans talk. Hearing an owl hoot three times means it’s conveying a different message from when it hoots two or three times.  The green horned owl is also generally known to hoot three times.

The Owl Hooting Omen

In some parts of the Native American tribe, it is believed that owls accompany the dead into the afterlife. This is what stemmed the owl hooting omen. They believe it is an unlucky omen. It is said that when you hear an owl hoot, it means evil is lurking. Some even believe that just sighting an owl is bad luck.

However, there are good omens attached to some species of owls in some tribes. It ranges from luck, to happiness, some even depict them as warriors or guardians.

How To Get Rid Of Owls

If you’re still bothered by owls, there are measures you can take to scare them away from your environment

  1. Owls being nocturnal creatures are sensitive to light. You can get rid of them by shining a bright light on them at night.
  2. Make sure your environment is rodent-free because owls tend to nest in rodent-infested areas.
  3. Noise annoys owls. Scare them away with alarms, horns, or whistles.
  4. Set up a scarecrow.


There can be no doubt that owls are fascinating creatures. They are birds of prey that stay out of sight mostly, some species of owl can camouflage with its surrounding to avoid being seen by intruders or outsiders generally.

Why do owls hoot? They are just a means for communication although some generally seen them as bad omens,. Owls hoot to mark territories, to call or attract a mate, or to fight off predators and intruders.

If you really want to understand how owls operate, all you have to do is listen to them hoot. There are different variations for each call, sending a different message each time they hoot.

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