Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Birdblogging



Eastern Screech Owl. Photo taken in northern San Antonio in June 2000 by Angela Bartels.

Cool Facts

* Red and gray individuals occur across the range of the Eastern Screech-Owl, with about one-third of all individuals being red. Rufous owls are more common in the East, with fewer than 15% red at the western edge of the range. No red owls are known from southern Texas, although they occur further north in Texas and further south in Mexico. Intermediate brownish individuals also occur in most populations.

* The Eastern Screech-Owl eats a variety of small animals. Two captive males ate from one-quarter to one-third of their own body weight in food each night, but sometimes skipped a night and stored food instead.

* The trilling song on one pitch, sometimes known as the Bounce Song, is used by members of a pair or a family to keep in contact. The male will trill to advertise a nest site, court the female, and when arriving at a nest with food. The descending Whinny is used in territory defense. The songs usually are uttered separately, but sometimes are heard together.

* Eastern Screech-Owl pairs usually are monogamous and remain together for life. Some males, however, will mate with two different females. The second female may evict the first female, lay her own eggs in the nest, and incubate both clutches.

* The Eastern Screech-Owl is known to eat a variety of songbirds, including the European Starling. Despite this fact, the starling regularly displaces the owl from nesting sites and takes over the hole to raise its own brood.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous WarOnWarOff said...

A friend of mine had some screech owls living on a tree near her house. She'd gotten a tape of their songs, and I sort of learned how to whistle them. One evening I started whistling near the tree, and I must have said a "bad word" in screech owl, as dozens of 'em started swooping down on us. We quickly went inside. ;)

5:51 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

You are Code Pink to the screech owls of your neighborhood! We have a mockingbird that used to defend its nest at this time of year by chasing an elderly neighbor away from her mailbox. It just sings loudly at the rest of us. She doesn't know why she was a threat.

6:40 AM  

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