Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Eastern Screech-Owl • January 22

Eastern Screech-Owl. Local well-known birder Chita McKinney called me today to say that a rufous morph Eastern Screech-Owl was in her owl box and invited me to come over at take some pictures. I dropped everything and did just that!

Eastern Screech-Owl. Rufous morph screech-owls in the northern US are relatively rare with their frequency increasing in the southern states. Much more common in our area are gray morph screech-owls. The eyes are yellow, though with the contrast of the reddish feathers I think the eyes appear greenish.

Eastern Screech-Owl. Caught in mid blink.

Eastern Screech-Owl

Eastern Screech-Owl and Eastern Gray Squirrel. Cornell's Birds of North America says squirrel is on the menu of the screech-owl, so does this squirrel know something the owl doesn't?

Eastern Screech-Owl and Eastern Gray Squirrel. Shortly after this picture was taken a Sharp-shinned Hawk show up in the area. Immediately, the owl disappeared into the box and the squirrel ran off and hid. I guess both are on the hawk's menu!