Monday, April 2, 2012

Bird of the Week - XXVIII

Grey phase Screech owl.

Red phase Screech owl in a hole in a tree.
This week's "Bird of the Week" is the Eastern Screech owl. This small owl, about 10", has ear tufts and can be found in either a brownish-gray color or a reddish-brown color. The male and female birds look alike, with the female slightly larger. Believe it or not, the Screech owl is common in Reading, however, because it is nocturnal, we don't often see or hear it. They found in most habitats with trees, including urban and suburban areas. If you are careful, patient, and lucky enough, you may spot a Screech owl sitting in a hole in a tree. You may hear one of it's two common calls at night; a descending whistled whinny, or a whistled trill on one pitch.

This photo was taken by a former student of mine in her backyard.
The Screech owl hunts and eats large insects, small rodents, crayfish, earthworms, and small songbirds. They nest in tree cavities (holes) and will readily nest in man-made nest boxes.

Photos from All About Birds and Roger Tory Peterson print from Bird Watchers Digest.
Grey phase Screech owl in a nesting box.

Painting done by Roger Tory Peterson,  From Bird Watchers Digest.

No comments: