Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Eastern Screech Owl

Gray Eastern Screech Owl
 The eastern screech owl is a small owl found in the eastern United States and north eastern Mexico. Although they are fairly common many people have never seen one. Looking at the picture above you may be able to guess the reason why? Eastern screech owls have pretty good camouflage. They are also primarily nocturnal or crepuscular, so they are most active at night or dusk and dawn. As a cavity nester they usually spend their day in a tree cavity or perched in dense tree foliage.
Gray Eastern Screech Owl
 This owl was quite popular back in March when I photographed it. On cold sunny days he would sit in the entrance to this cavity and sun himself. Many photographers new his location so he often had quite an audience. Unfortunately some photographers care more about a picture than they do the bird and while I was there one such photographer was playing calls to try and get the bird to open its eyes. The owl turned out to be smarter than the photographer and was not fooled. After the photographer left, I guess he did not like being confronted, the owl rewarded the rest of us by opening one eye to check us out.
Red Eastern Screech Owl
Eastern screech owls also can come in a red color. This is Mestaae, an education bird at The Raptor Center. In the eastern portion of their range only about 30% of the birds are this rusty color but in the western portion of their range, which includes Minnesota, only about 15% are red. We have had 3 eastern screech owl education birds since I have volunteered at The Raptor Center, only one was gray the other two, including Mestaae, where both red.


Melody said...

Wow thank you for this post! An introduction of an owl I did not know jet... In my own language its called : "Oostelijke Schreeuwuil" ... I had never heard of it nor ever seen one....Love this.

Have a nice ABC-W-day / - week
♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

Nonnie said...

well, good for the owl! pretty smart of him (her?)

Breathtaking said...

Great captures of the Eastern Screech Owl, from a few feet away you wouldn't know he was in the tree. The pink coloured one is most attractive, it will be harder to disguise his plumage.

fredamans said...

Excellent owl shots!! I especially love the last one.

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

Now isn't he a cutie.Lovely shots of him

Adam Jones said...

Fabulous pictures.

Roger Owen Green said...

Where's the owl in the first..oh, THERE he is!

betty-NZ said...

Those first two shots are just too cute! Wow!

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