Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Screech owls are so cool. They are the smallest of Illinois owls, measuring 8-9 inches in length. They have yellow eyes and prominent ear tufts which are not ears at all, just simply elongated feathers. There are 2 morphs, red and gray. They tend to adapt their colors to their environment as represented here with the tree bark for camouflage. Their large eyes are fixed in the skull, making it necessary to rotate their heads to change their view. They nest in tree cavities, or even nesting boxes if necessary. The Screech Owl got its name from the call that they make, usually at dusk. They also have a low whistling call, sometimes sounding like a horse whinny. They eat a diet of small rodents, insects, snakes, and sometimes other birds.