Friday, November 6, 2015

Hoo-Hoo!! What Kind of Owl is That?

Common east of the Rockies in woods, suburbs, and parks, the Eastern Screech-Owl is found wherever trees are, and they’re even willing to nest in backyard nest boxes. These supremely camouflaged birds hide out in nooks and tree crannies through the day, so train your ears and listen for them at night.We have several wood duck houses around our lake.  The other day I was taking a walk in the woods on our property, and I noticed this little Eastern Screech Owl peeking out of the wood duck house.

It was hard to see her hiding there -
and she was so tiny, maybe 8" tall.  Pretty cool as I had not seen a screech owl before!  Although her eyes look closed, she turned her head to watch me as I was walking by.  Some owl facts:

A short video: 

Screech Owls
Typical Voice
  • Size and Shape:  The Eastern Screech-Owl is a short, stocky bird, with a large head and almost no neck. Its wings are rounded; its tail is short and square. Pointed ear tufts are often raised, lending its head a distinctive silhouette.

  • Color Pattern:  Eastern Screech-Owls can be either mostly gray or mostly reddish-brown. Whatever the overall color, they are patterned with complex bands and spots that give the bird excellent camouflage against tree bark. Eyes are yellow.

  • Behavior:  Eastern Screech-Owls are active at night and are far more often heard than seen—most bird watchers know this species only from its trilling or whinnying song. However, this cavity-roosting owl can be attracted to nest boxes or, if you’re sharp-eyed, spotted in daylight at the entrance to its home in a tree cavity.

  • Habitat:  Trees define the Eastern Screech-Owl’s habitat. This owl is fairly common in most types of woods (evergreen or deciduous; urban or rural), particularly near water. It shuns treeless expanses of mountains or plains.


Have you spotted any owls in your neighborhood?


Carol- Beads and Birds said...

OMGosh, I couldn't figure out what that picture was in my blog roll. I have never seen a screech owl, though we had one in the neighborhood a few years ago. I remember the first time I heard it. I was in bed and it was about midnight. When it screeched I woke up Terry to go with me to see if someone was getting hurt. When he heard it, the country boy knew right away it was a Screech Owl. Guess it didn't like the neighborhood because he moved on.
xx, Carol

eileeninmd said...

Hello, very cool sighting of the Screech Owl. It is great that they will be using your nest box. Great shot! Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

Lea said...

Great photo!
We hear owls hooting at night here, but we seldom see them.
Have a wonderful week-end!

Shannon W. said...

What a great sighting! My mother loved owls and would have enjoyed reading this post. Thank you for bringing back some fond memories.

jandi said...

What a fantastic sighting! Lovely little owl!

Jayne said...

I've only ever seen one Screech Owl before -- and I would have missed it if it wasn't pointed out to me at Kleb Woods Nature Park. They have great camouflage. Love your photos.

Margaret Adamson said...

Wonderful sighting of this Owl

CountryCityCindy said...

We don't see them often either, so when I do spot one, it's a treat!

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