Wiechs am Randen
Wiechs Am Randen

Tawny Owls (Strix aluco)/Waldkäuze near Wiechs am Randen – Southern Germany

26 april 2009

This recording was made on a wooded ridge above the village of Wiechs am Randen near Tengen in Baden-Württemberg/Southern Germany.

This beautiful mixed forest with mainly beeches and spruces lies directly at the Swiss border on a northern extension of the Jura range at almost 800 m elevation. Being away from main roads and highways, it is one of the few places in the region where you can expect to find natural quiet for most of the night until late morning. Of course, as everywhere, airplanes are an issue with Zurich airport being 35 km away. There is a healthy bird population with tawny owls, song thrushes, chaffinches, robins, blackbirds, titmice, wood pigeons, woodpeckers and other songbirds.

The recording begins right before the dawn chorus when a female Tawny Owl catches the attention of her mate with her high pitch calls that are immediately answered by the male’s eerie and vigorous hoots. It is especially noteworthy that the male’s calls are answered by what seems to be a Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) /Waldohreule (0:30 and 1:32 to 1:42) and also by a Common Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) / Ringeltaube (3:15 to 4:38). Also note the rustling of the dry leaves which shows that there is always a good deal of rodent action on the forest floor. I set the mic up on a tripod at a hight of 4 feet. Still the rustling is very much audible.

The Recording was made on 26 April 2009 at ca. 5.55 am with an MKH80/20 MS-Setup on an Edirol R-44 via a Lake People MIC-AMP C360.