Don checks our Kestrel boxes at Audubon. He suspected an Eastern Screech Owl might be using the one in the parking lot… He climbed up there and got photographic proof that there was indeed a screech owl using the box! So, he returned one day with Scott (and the banding equipment).
A crowd gathered to watch, hopeful that they would see one of our most endearing little owls.
Alas and alack… the bird had flown… perhaps roosting elsewhere in one of our other boxes?
In the bottom of the box there was evidence aplenty that a Screech Owl had been using the box: pellets gallore and the remains of a cardinal.
We think of owls as being strictly nocturnal… but the Screech Owl may also hunt at dusk before the Cardinals and other songbirds have hit the sack.
Eastern Screech Owls can be either gray or red. Curiously, later on this very day, a friend of Audubon brought us a poor unfortunate red individual that had been hit by a car and killed. We now have both a gray and a red in the freezer and are looking for a generous donor to send them to the taxidermist. (Audubon has federal and state permits allowing us to collect and display birds collected in this manner for educational purposes.)
Learn more about Screechies: