Pete Dunne’s book The Art of Pishing is a great resource to learn how to pish and make owl calls. What’s “pishing”? Pishing, while it goes by many names and sounds, is the art of making a noise that grabs the attention of birds.
A few of our favorites from Dunne’s book are the scolding sound of the Tufted Titmouse and the Eastern Screech-Owl tremolo. These imitations, no matter how crudely done in the field, are highly effective at attracting other birds. But pishing can be a powerful weapon so it is wise to use it with caution. If you are birding in a group, it might be a good idea to ask first before you start hooting like an owl. And it is always better to avoid pishing in areas with heavy foot traffic or heavy raptor activity.
But as Pete Dunne says, pishing will result in one of three things: a bird will respond with curiosity, a bird will leave the area, or absolutely nothing will happen.