Lakeside Nature Center
Arrived at Lakeside Nature Center on June 11, 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.
Because of his small size, Darwin is presumed to be male.
For more information on screech owls, check out the Critter Corner entry.