Several times in the past month, I have heard at dusk what I think is an unfamiliar owl species. Tonight it was a pair performing a duet. I'm well acquainted with barred, eastern screech, and great horned, which all are common in my fairly rural area, but are very different from what I'm hearing. When researching alternatives, it sounds very much like the boreal, but resources like cornell ornithology indicate their presence in Northern VA would be quite unusual. Any thoughts out there? Perhaps not an owl?

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    Any chance you could get a recording and post it here?
    – bob1
    Sep 7, 2020 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


Having had a listen to the recording of boreal owls here.

I had a google for calls that are similar to owls and came across the Wilson's snipe, which doesn't make a call like the owl, but rather uses air rushing through its feathers to make the sound. They are very common all across North America (the continent) and central America.

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