Each evening birdlover Tom stood in his backyard, hooting like an owl - and one night, an owl called back to him. For a year, the man and his feathered friend hooted back and forth. He even kept a log of the "conversation."

Just as he thought he was on the verge of a breakthrough in interspecies communication, his wife had a chat with her next door neighbor.

"My husband spends his nights ... calling out to owls," she said.

"That's odd," the neighbor replied. "So does my husband."

Then it dawned on them.