Beeeeep One Two Beeeeep One Two Beeeeep

That’s the soundtrack here over the past few nights. Extremely accurate, a very loud beeping sound every three seconds.

We’ve had guests over for the weekend who couldn’t sleep during the night because the sound was so loud by their window. We were more fortunate in our bedroom, but could still hear it clearly when going outside. You could time your watch by it. One two Beeeeeeeeeep One Two Beeeeeep…. for hours on end.

Everyone had their own theory (or not very educated guess).

My brother-in-law decided someone’s alarm was going on through the night.

IsraeliDad thought it must be a bird and insisted on having heard it before.

Myself, I thought it was Aliens broadcasting some sort of signal over our neighborhood, testing our nerves.

We tried to investigate. IsraeliDad took a torchlight and went out in the night to find the source of the sound. I stayed home,not in the mood for being abducted into the mother spaceship. He came back, unchanged, I think, and said that as soon as he got close, the sound stopped, so he couldn’t locate it.

Well, Google is your friend. I figured we can’t have been the only ones to have heard this. Indeed, searching in Hebrew for “night time bleeps every three seconds” gave me the result.

Tree Owls. “Yanshuf Etzim” in Hebrew.

Tree Owl Fledglings - Picture by Ruti Ram from the website of the Ministry of Environmental Issues

And there’s a good reason why none of us would recognize it. Apparently, tree owls are Olim Hadashim – new immigrants to Israel. They used to fly through during winter time, but about a decade ago, they began nesting here. Nests were observed in the 1970’s, but since 2000 they’ve been growing in numbers. No one is quite sure why. There are now hundreds of nests reported every year in Israel.

So, what’s with the strange sound? Apparently, the cute silly little owl fledglings get out of the nest when they’re a few weeks old, and start rambling around nearby branches. They still can’t hunt, so they call out to their parents for food. Every three seconds, like clockwork, until Mom or Dad bring them their meal. And I thought my kids nag me when they’re hungry.

Fortunately, the noise stops once they learn how to get their own food, which should be in a few weeks time.

So, if you live in Israel, or travel through, look for the sound of tree owls. Our feathered Olim Hadashim!

Speaking of Olim Hadashim, please take a minute to visit MakingAliyah.com, where my dear friend and brand new Olah Hadasha (new immigrant) shares her story of making Aliyah to Israel. You can also read there about our recent trip together, from the coast of the Mediterranean to the Sea of Galilee.

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5 Responses to Beeeeep One Two Beeeeep One Two Beeeeep

  1. Selurus says:

    Thats an interesting discovery about owls.

  2. Sarah says:

    How cool is that! great discovery and I hope there are less mice wandering around because of that (although with the amount of cats I see perhaps this was never a problelm). I actually popped in to see pictures from your yam el yam trip.

  3. Sarah says:

    never mind…. I found them 🙂
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Passover in the Desert =-.

  4. I think owls are so cool, but honestly that would drive me nuts.

    My son’s alarm goes off every day at noon, while he’s at school. It scares the crap out of me. I’m not sure why I haven’t changed the alarm, but it’s all I can do to just shut the damn thing off.

  5. Aaron says:

    Interesting coincidence. Right now on Ustream.com, Molly the owl is very popular, especially since she’s in our town of San Marcos, California. She’s on the news at least once a week along with her newly hatched owlets.

    Here’s a site that has recordings of owl sounds.
    http://www.owlpages.com/sounds.php

    Some are pretty creepy, or eerie sounding.
    .-= Aaron´s last blog ..Does sex Matter? =-.