Owls change nesting locations or eating habits during harsh weather conditions because of shortages of food. ORI staff will discuss the natural history of Montana owls, and evolutionary adaptations in owls—how do owls hear, see, fly silently, camouflage, hunt, and other interesting facts. M. kennicottii does not make sound when it flies. After migrants pass through, screech-owls prey on fledglings of local birds; The Western Screech Owls (Megascops kennicottii) are small owls that are found in western United States, Canada and Mexico. A short series of high toots accelerating through the night announces the presence of a Western Screech-Owl.

By Charlotte Lehmman and Hayley Willner Owls are a common species in Marin County. Though the three species may look similar, to a trained ear, the call of the Western Screech Owl sounds quite different than that of the Eastern or Whiskered Screech Owl. The size and color of these owls vary considerably. Adults range in size from 19-25 cm and have grey or grey-brown feathers with small black streaks. These nocturnal birds become active after sunset and silently hunt their prey at night. Common owls found in North America include the great horned owl, barred owl, spotted owl, great gray owl, barn owl, northern pygmy owl and western screech owl. To see how the western-screech owl can be concealed in a tree, click on this link. This is the very species of owl from which the entire ‘Screech Owls’ got their name. Western screech owl (Megascops kennicottii) is a small owl that occurs in woodland habitats, especially deciduous forests. Owl Eyes / Vision Adaptations Diet / Feeding The Western Screech Owls eat various larger insects, such as beetles, moths, crickets, grasshoppers and cicadas, which makes up more than half of their diet. Western screech owls have magnificently camouflaged appearances. The Eastern Screech Owl is one of the smallest of the all owl species in North America. If the weather permits, we will venture out one evening to try and observe the elaborate courtship flight of the Short-eared Owl. They are relatively common and resident (non-migratory) throughout their large range. The females are four percent larger than the males in body size, weighing around 120-305 g while males weigh 120-230 g.

They were previously considered conspecific (one and the same species) with the Eastern Screech Owl.. The hatching of the Western Screech Owl’s young is synchronized with the spring migration of birds. It does not add nesting material to the cavity. If you know the answer to this question, please register to join our limited beta program and start the conversation right now! The western screech owl’s bill is blackish or dark gray at the base, but gray-plumaged individuals are otherwise nearly identical in appearance and habits to the Eastern gray morph birds.

The range of the Eastern owls overlap slightly with their Western counterparts, and their mysterious, eerie trill would catch anyone’s attention especially in the dark of the night. Location and composition … They are found in Central and northern part of United States. The double trill and soft hooting of the Western Screech Owl is often heard in riparian areas, this owl’s habitat of choice.

Flying Silently. Range extends from extreme southern Alaska and coastal British Columbia south through the western states and into much of Mexico.

Lightly mottled facial disk, has prominent dark rim.

Western Screech-Owl: Small owl (kennicotti), distinct ear tufts, brown- or gray-mottled upperparts, white shoulder spots, streaked, barred underparts. Owls are nocturnal animals and are a very well known species of birds (Klappenbach).

Owls use unusual physical characteristics to catch prey or sense danger that other birds lack. There are many different types of owls in Marin including the Barn Owl, the Western Screech Owl and the Spotted Owl (Latham).

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