In the early spring, courting songbirds sang at dusk and spring peepers made most of the racket at night. In the summer, cicadas droned on through the evening and the whip-poor-wills and chuck-will’s-widows repeated over and over their plaintive songs from the darkened woods.
Now, the voices of autumn —- the owls —- are about to reclaim the night. The owls, of course, hoot, hiss and screech all year long, but it is in autumn and winter when they take center stage and their haunting sounds fill the dusk and darkness.
As if warming up for the season, a barred owl has been calling almost every evening now from the woods behind my home on the outskirts of Decatur. My friend Liz Horsey in northwest Atlanta says she has been hearing a barred owl calling from a nearby yard and, the other day, she heard a great horned owl hooting.
Head one outside my window in Decatur Heights just the other night.