Eastern Screech Owls Live Among Us Undetected

Eastern Screech Owls Live Among Us Undetected

Eastern Screech Owls live among us, in our backyards, parks and forests, totally undetected by most of us. This small owl is commonly found throughout Eastern North America, from Canada to Mexico.

Eastern Screech Owl
Eastern Screech Owl

We recently went on our second Owl Prowl at the North Tonawanda Nature Preserve. The outing was again sponsored by the Buffalo Audubon Society and our guide was naturalist Tom Kerr. Tom did an excellent job of not only teaching us about the Eastern Screech Owls that live in these woods, but also quickly attracted this little owl by calling it with pre-recorded sounds.

Listen to the sound of the Eastern Screech Owl.

 

We saw the first owl within about 5 minutes of walking into the woods. It was a crisp Autumn evening and very muddy, however, dressed appropriately this was not an issue. Since our Spring prowl, Tom found out that it is better for the owls if he used a red filter on his flashlight, so as to not disturb them as much, hence the red glow in the photos. We only saw the owl a couple times, however, we heard at least 2 different owls communicating with each other quite often.

Eastern Screech Owl High up in Tree
Eastern Screech Owl High up in Tree

The Eastern Screech Owl can be gray or reddish brown in color. They stand only about 9 inches (23 cm) tall but they will usually see you long before you see them. They spend most of their day roosting in trees or dense cover. These birds can locate their prey both by sight as well as sound. Their hearing is so good that they can locate small prey under deep snow.

If you’d like to learn more about these amazing birds, I would suggest a wonderful book by Frederick Gehlbach, called Eastern Screech Owl: Life History, Ecology, and Behavior in the Suburbs and Countryside (W. L. Moody Jr. Natural History Series).

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed this. Please check out my other posts for more birding stories. ~Karen

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