Have you ever gone to bed and been about to fall asleep when you hear something weird in the darkness? Last night the was a noise, a low noise, like a phone off the hook in another room, or aliens landing, a sound like woot, woot, woot, going for 10 seconds and then stopping, but even when it stopped there was the impression in my mind that I could still hear it.
Going out into the darkness I searched for the elusive sound that always seemed to dissappear and yet linger in the back of my mind. After thinking the neighbours might be undertaking nefarious deeds and listening for screams I noticed something high in a tree. Now I know marauding possums can make some very strange sounds but this was nothing like that.
Moving closer in the darkness I could see sitting above me that the beast was in fact a Southern Boobook Owl hooting and wooting out into the darkenss and when it stopped it was being answered by one or two other owls further away, explaining why I could hear it even when it stopped nearby.
Now the Biology, Conservation and Cultural Significance of Owls says that:
We could find no convincing evidence in the literature, or in a study of three pairs of Southern Boobooks observed over 529 nights in and near Aranda Bushland in Canberra, that Southern Boobooks duet.
But I say they are wrong, and that they are obviously using their melliflous voices to create a duet that is sending a signal over vast distances for their own dark needs.