70birds

That Nest in Birdhouses

70birds

That Nest in Birdhouses

70birds

That Nest in Birdhouses

Western Screech Owl

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Painting of two screech owls, one in grey phase and one in red phase perched in a tree top.

(Kennicott’s Screech-Owl)

Otus kennicotti

Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Otus
Species: kennicotti

La. strix  owl
La. strigis owl
La. forma form, shape, kind
La. -idae appearance, resemblance
Gr. otis buzzard with long ear feathers
La. kennicotti for naturalist Robert Kennicott

A little larger than the Eastern Screech Owl, about eleven inches long and having basically the same color variations: rusty red with light and dark brown or black streaks, or gray with black steaks and a fine yellowish tint and variations in between. White undersides with crossed black streaks. Conspicuous ear tufts and black circles around yellow eyes.

Some of the older literature includes western North America as a residency of Otus asio, the eastern screech owl. The two birds must have been considered alike enough in habits and plumage to be grouped as one. The Birds of America, 1917, index attributes the above illustration, by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, to both birds.

The differences between the two birds in the painting are not meant to illustrate differences between western and eastern species. Rather they illustrate the red and grey “phases”, which appear within both western and eastern screech owls species.

USGS map shows western screech owls range from southeast Alaska, western Canada and the U.S. west of the Great Plains to Mexico.

Western screech owls inhabit Northwest forests, groves, farms and wooded towns, often near water, from southeast Alaska, western Canada and the U.S. west of the Great Plains to Mexico.

Many neighbors are unaware of the screech owl’s presence until the bird swoops like a shadow in the darkness toward an intruder, hooting and snapping its bill as it pulls up in the last second, scaring the daylights out of their new friend.

Screech owl songs transcribed to sheet music by Simeon Pease Cheney

Hoots and Shivering Cries of the Screech Owl

Since ancient times the screech owl and those who encounter it have been regarded as unlucky, a superstition perpetuated in particular by the screech owl’s proximity to people, its nocturnal nature and its eerie shivering, descending wail.

Painting of a screech owl perched near its tree cavity and another flying with a rodent in its talons.

Nocturnal hunters, screech owls stealthily prey on unsuspecting mice, insects, frogs, snakes, lizards, crayfish and fish.

An owl’s fluffy feather edges reduce the noise of flight.

They usually keep out of site during the day, but if they venture out, they stir up a commotion among song birds.

In the past, they have been kept as pets, although now that is highly illegal. Left to its choice the screech owl is a good neighbor controlling the local mice population.

Western screech owls build scanty nests of sticks, feathers and chips in natural or abandoned tree cavities, on rocky ledges, in farm sheds from waist level up to twenty five feet high.

They sometimes nest in birdhouses of the right dimensions mounted in the right places.

Females lay white eggs the individual numbers varying widely. Eggs hatch after about four weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another month.

Visit the Screech Owl Birdhouse Page.

Screech Owl Birdhouse

The Western Screech Owl Nest Box (same as for Eastern Screech Owl, Kestrel and Barrow’s Goldeneye) has an 8″ by 8″ floor, 15″ inside floor to ceiling, 3″ diameter entrance hole located 12″ above the floor and ventilation openings in the floor and under the ceiling.

Assemble with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes to reduce wood splitting.

Select to view or print screech owl birdhouse plans.

Screech Owl Birdhouse Plans

Place a bed of wood chips, not sawdust, on the floor.

Mount out of reach (10 feet or higher) near woodland edges or clearings, small tree stands or under the eave of a farm out building within moderate distance of wetlands. Face south so they can sun themselves through the hole in winter.

Woodpeckers, other owls and squirrels may use this box.

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Western Screech Owl

(Kennicott’s Screech-Owl)

Otus kennicotti

Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Otus
Species: kennicotti

La. strix  owl
La. strigis owl
La. forma form, shape, kind
La. -idae appearance, resemblance
Gr. otis buzzard with long ear feathers
La. kennicotti for naturalist Robert Kennicott

A little larger than the Eastern Screech Owl, about eleven inches long and having basically the same color variations: rusty red with light and dark brown or black streaks, or gray with black steaks and a fine yellowish tint and variations in between.

Painting of two screech owls, one in grey phase and one in red phase perched in a tree top.

White undersides with crossed black streaks. Conspicuous ear tufts and black circles around yellow eyes.

Some of the older literature includes western North America as a residency of Otus asio, the eastern screech owl. The two birds must have been considered alike enough in habits and plumage to be grouped as one. The Birds of America, 1917, index attributes the above illustration, by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, to both birds.

The differences between the two birds in the painting are not meant to illustrate differences between western and eastern species. Rather they illustrate the red and grey “phases”, which appear within both western and eastern screech owls species.

USGS map shows western screech owls range from southeast Alaska, western Canada and the U.S. west of the Great Plains to Mexico.

Western screech owls inhabit Northwest forests, groves, farms and wooded towns, often near water, from southeast Alaska, western Canada and the U.S. west of the Great Plains to Mexico.

Many neighbors are unaware of the screech owl’s presence until the bird swoops like a shadow in the darkness toward an intruder, hooting and snapping its bill as it pulls up in the last second, scaring the daylights out of their new friend.

Screech owl songs transcribed to sheet music by Simeon Pease Cheney

Hoots and Shivering Cries of the Screech Owl

Since ancient times the screech owl and those who encounter it have been regarded as unlucky, a superstition perpetuated in particular by the screech owl’s proximity to people, its nocturnal nature and its eerie shivering, descending wail.

Nocturnal hunters, screech owls stealthily prey on unsuspecting mice, insects, frogs, snakes, lizards, crayfish and fish.

An owl’s fluffy feather edges reduce the noise of flight.

They usually keep out of site during the day, but if they venture out, they stir up a commotion among song birds.

In the past, they have been kept as pets, although now that is highly illegal.

Left to its choice the screech owl is a good neighbor controlling the local mice population.

Screech owls build scanty nests of sticks, feathers and chips in natural or abandoned tree cavities, on rocky ledges, in farm sheds from waist level up to twenty five feet high.

They sometimes nest in birdhouses of the right dimensions mounted in the right places.

Painting of a screech owl perched near its tree cavity and another flying with a rodent in its talons.

Females lay white eggs the individual numbers varying widely. Eggs hatch after about four weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another month.

The Western Screech Owl Nest Box (same as for Eastern Screech Owl, Kestrel and Barrow’s Goldeneye) has an 8″ by 8″ floor, 15″ inside floor to ceiling, 3″ diameter entrance hole located 12″ above the floor and ventilation openings in the floor and under the ceiling.

Assemble with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes to reduce wood splitting. Place a bed of wood chips, not sawdust, on the floor.

Mount out of reach (10 feet or higher) near woodland edges or clearings, small tree stands or under the eave of a farm out building within moderate distance of wetlands. Face south so they can sun themselves through the hole in winter.

Woodpeckers, other owls and squirrels may use this box.

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Western Sreech Owl

(Kennicott’s Screech-Owl)

Otus kennicotti

Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Otus
Species: kennicotti

La. strix  owl
La. strigis owl
La. forma form, shape, kind
La. -idae appearance, resemblance
Gr. otis buzzard with long ear feathers
La. kennicotti for naturalist Robert Kennicott

Painting of two screech owls, one in grey phase and one in red phase perched in a tree top.

A little larger than the Eastern Screech Owl, about eleven inches long and having basically the same color variations: rusty red with light and dark brown or black streaks, or gray with black steaks and a fine yellowish tint and variations in between. White undersides with crossed black streaks. Conspicuous ear tufts and black circles around yellow eyes.

Some of the older literature includes western North America as a residency of Otus asio, the eastern screech owl. The two birds must have been considered alike enough in habits and plumage to be grouped as one. The Birds of America, 1917, index attributes the above illustration, by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, to both birds.

The differences between the two birds in the above painting are not meant to illustrate differences between western and eastern screech owl species. Rather they illustrate the red and grey “phases”, which appear within both western and eastern species.

USGS map shows western screech owls range from southeast Alaska, western Canada and the U.S. west of the Great Plains to Mexico.

Western screech owls inhabit Northwest forests, groves, farms and wooded towns, often near water, from southeast Alaska, western Canada and the U.S. west of the Great Plains to Mexico.

Many neighbors are unaware of the screech owl’s presence until the bird swoops like a shadow in the darkness toward an intruder, hooting and snapping its bill as it pulls up in the last second, scaring the daylights out of their new friend.

Screech owl songs transcribed to sheet music by Simeon Pease Cheney

Hoots and Shivering Cries of the Screech Owl

Since ancient times the screech owl and those who encounter it have been regarded as unlucky, a superstition perpetuated in particular by the screech owl’s proximity to people, its nocturnal nature and its eerie shivering, descending wail.

Nocturnal hunters, screech owls stealthily prey on unsuspecting mice, insects, frogs, snakes, lizards, crayfish and fish.

An owl’s fluffy feather edges reduce the noise of flight.

They usually keep out of site during the day, but if they venture out, they stir up a commotion among song birds.

In the past, they have been kept as pets, although now that is highly illegal. Left to its choice the screech owl is a good neighbor controlling the local mice population.

Western screech owls build scanty nests of sticks, feathers and chips in natural or abandoned tree cavities, on rocky ledges, in farm sheds from waist level up to twenty five feet high.

They sometimes nest in birdhouses of the right dimensions mounted in the right places.

Painting of a screech owl perched near its tree cavity and another flying with a rodent in its talons.

Females lay white eggs the individual numbers varying widely. Eggs hatch after about four weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another month.

The Western Screech Owl Nest Box (same as for Eastern Screech Owl, Kestrel and Barrow’s Goldeneye) has an 8″ by 8″ floor, 15″ inside floor to ceiling, 3″ diameter entrance hole located 12″ above the floor and ventilation openings in the floor and under the ceiling.

Assemble with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes to reduce wood splitting. Place a bed of wood chips, not sawdust, on the floor.

Mount out of reach (10 feet or higher) near woodland edges or clearings, small tree stands or under the eave of a farm out building within moderate distance of wetlands.

Face south so they can sun themselves through the hole in winter.

Woodpeckers, other owls and squirrels may use this box.

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