We heard this animal outside in Western Washington (Port Townsend area) during the late evening. I think it is a bird, but it honestly sounds sort of like some creepy woman singing or something. The audio is linked below. The sound (in the audio) was repeated for a long time at random intervals averaging probably every ten seconds.


Anyone know for certain?

  • $\begingroup$ If I exclude the humming noise, the call is quite clear. But do you have any more longer-records? $\endgroup$ Sep 14, 2016 at 7:51
  • $\begingroup$ The sound is approx ranging 200 Hz to 2000 Hz with most-occurred components belong approx 500 to 600 Hz. seems so , when filtered with any media player's equalizer. $\endgroup$ Sep 14, 2016 at 12:05
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That is the only sound clip I have... $\endgroup$
    – jlars62
    Sep 14, 2016 at 15:55

5 Answers 5


I asked the same question on another forum here: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?p=3454684.

It looks like another possibility is a barred owl. It also sounds somewhat similar.


My guess is an owl, possibly a great horned owl, which are found in the area and can sound similar.

Alternatively, it could be a mourning dove, which sounds similar again, and is common throughout the USA.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Not a mourning dove; pattern wrong. Owl is highly likely; Barred Owl suggested in other answer is better fit than Great Horned. Compare at Cornell site:allaboutbirds.org $\endgroup$
    – mgkrebbs
    Sep 14, 2016 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ @mgkrebbs I agree. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Sep 15, 2016 at 3:46

This does sound like the characteristic "who cooks for you" call of a distant barred owl (Strix varia). You can hear this call at All About Birds run by Cornell Ornithology Lab.

  • The recording by Andrew Spencer is most similar to yours given the distance it was recorded (though, he suggests it's a subspecies out of range that was recorded).

  • You might also try Audobon's sound clips as they were recorded at farther distance than those at Cornell and so better represent what you're hearing.

You're in range of these owls in Port Townsend:

enter image description here

Source: All About Birds


No question ; barred owl. There are a few in the subdivision and presently I hear them fairly often. I think it may be fledging practicing the call. I am in E TX at the southern end of the range on the shown map.


It could be the Sri Lankan spot-bellied eagle-owl lost in America.

Link = [https://www.google.com/search?q=spot-bellied+eagle-owl&oq=spot-bellied+eagle-owl&aqs=chrome..69i57j46j0i22i30l7.931j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8][1]

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site! It would be much better to embed the image in your post; the google query will change over time. Please edit in the picture. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – rotaredom
    Apr 30, 2021 at 10:34
  • $\begingroup$ Given the similarity of the call to a bird known to live in the area this seems at best extremely speculative. You are also more likely to get a positive response if you explain why your identification is correct. Specifically, please edit your answer to add discussion of key features that led you to this conclusion and supporting references or at least validated calls. Without this your answer is indistinguishable from opinion and thus off-topic. ——— Please take the tour and then consult the help center pages for additional advice on How to Answer effectively on this site. Thank you! $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    May 9, 2021 at 19:17

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