Screech Owl
(Gray Color Phase)

(Otus asio)

Arrived at Lakeside Nature Center on January, 2008. 

This is a gray phase Eastern Screech Owl, brought to the Nature Center as a 'branching' young owl.  The feathers did not develop normally, keeping it from flying.  This abnormality may have been due to West Nile Virus exposure.  We had hopes that, with a good nutritious diet, new feathers would grow in normally the following season and the owl would be releasable.  Unfortunately, they didn't grow properly, so LNC decided to deep it and use it as education bird.  This way we could showcase two out of the three plumage colors this tiny species can exhibit.  He has been a great addition and provides company for our older red phase Screech Owl.

Natural history notes.

  • The eastern screech owl ranges in color from gray to red and grows to be about 8 1/2 inches tall.

  • Screech owls like to nest in tree cavities and, because of their small size, nocturnal habits and good camouflage, they can be hard to notice!

  • Our screech owl enjoys his own tree cavity.

For more information on screech owls, check out the Critter Corner entry.