I was recently at night in a public park in Karlsruhe, Germany. I've heard many (at least 10, probably many more - it's hard to tell) animals in the trees making noises similar to that of a rubber duck which is pressed.

What could that be?


1 Answer 1


It is most likely a Tawny Owl (Strix aluco), or Waldkauz in German, one of the most common owl species in Central Europe. These owls have many different calls, and you can hear them often here in Karlsruhe at night. Particularly their "kewick" call sounds similar to squeezing a rubber duck. It is usally emitted by female individuals during the mating season, but also males can produce it. Juveniles have a similar call as well. But most of the time - as far as I have noticed - you only hear their more common "hoo-hoo" calls (listen here or here).

Photo of a Tawny Owl:

Tawny Owl

Image Source:


  • 3
    $\begingroup$ * Listening to the kewick call and trying to judge whether it really sounds like a rubber duck * ..... mmhh yeah... Ok, that works! +1 $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Jun 11, 2017 at 17:15
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    $\begingroup$ @Remi.b well he said "similar", not "exactly like" :) $\endgroup$
    – adjan
    Jun 11, 2017 at 17:17
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    $\begingroup$ It sounded exactly like the "kewick" call! Thank you! I'm positively surprised that somebody could identify that with this little information :-) $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2017 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinThoma Probably because we live in the same town ;) $\endgroup$
    – adjan
    Jun 11, 2017 at 17:40
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    $\begingroup$ I have lived close by, but our Waldkäuze didn't sound like rubber ducks, or our rubber ducks don't sound like Waldkäuze. Now I am confused. $\endgroup$
    – skymningen
    Jun 12, 2017 at 8:59

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