PDA

View Full Version : Hooting Bears


randomscooter
08-14-2005, 06:32 AM
I recently moved to Keene, and in a conversation with my neighbor the topic of bear hooting came up, he saying something along the lines of "...did you hear the bears hooting last night?" Having never heard of this phenomenon I just laughed. Well, he was serious. So, I told him I thought he was pulling my leg but I'd take his word for it for the time being.
Since then I have done a bit of research, and apparently the "hoot" vocalization of the black bear is a local legend, restricted to Northern New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire.
I feel vindicated. Still, I wanted to ask the forum members what you all know about bear hooting. Fact or fiction?

birdny
08-14-2005, 07:10 AM
That reminds me of a time my 2 sons and I were camping on Garnet Lake a few years back, along with my brother. Mike (my brother) lives out that way, we were visiting. Mike was telling us about the "hooting" bears and how they'd start hooting as darkness fell. Anyway, myself (who has been a birder for 25 some years) and my oldest boy were were sitting along the waters edge, when from way across the lake a distant Barred Owls started hooting. Mark heard it first, and proud of his discovering, said "Barred Owl". I then heard it. We walked back up to camp to tell Matt (other son) and Mike. Soon there were about 4 pairs of Barred Owls hooting all around the lake. Mike almost didnt believe they were owls because he had heard from someone that they were "hooting bears". Mark, Matt and I still laugh about it today. Anyway they were Barred Owls. I'd do a search online and find a recording of a Barred Owl and its typical "Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all" hoot and let your friend listen to it. It would be interesting to see if that what it was. Maybe its more interesting loer for it to be bears, but I kinda like hearing the owls myself.
Dave

Boreal Chickadee
08-14-2005, 12:15 PM
birdny- Now that's a good laugh for my day.

We could turn this into a "mistaken identity" thread. My dear mother who is her eighties, and grew up in the city, had a bad case of this. My brother was sleeping in his bivy outside of the house at Lake George. She looked out the window shining her K-Mart 99 cent flashlight with ten year old batteries and told us that there was a deer at one end of the bivy and a bear at the other. :rolling: Another time I pulled to the house and she told me to be quiet because she was watching a baby bear so I grab the big old 4 cell out of the car and shine it around the corner and there is a skunk at the bird feeder. :rolling: :rolling:

PS I love my Mom.

randomscooter
08-14-2005, 02:11 PM
... I'd do a search online and find a recording of a Barred Owl and its typical "Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all" hoot and let your friend listen to it. It would be interesting to see if that what it was. Maybe its more interesting loer for it to be bears, but I kinda like hearing the owls myself.
Dave

Well, I considered doing just that, and I did find a recording of a Barred Owl. But for now I'll let sleeping dogs lie. First, I don't think I could change his mind and second, it'll kinda be fun to let it continue. I'll just play along. Somewhere along the way, if a good opportunity arises, perhaps I'll try to ease him into the truth. Thanks for the input!