DATA – EASTERN SCREECH OWL
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Hatch Year: unknown
Arrival to WBS: 2014
Reason for Residence: left wing injury
When Data was a young bird he had a collision incident which left him with a fracture to his left wing. He was brought to Fontenelle Forest Raptor Recovery in Nebraska for treatment, however the fracture was very near the joint and upon healing the joint became partially fused resulting in a permanent wing droop. Unable to fly but still young and absolutely full of spirit, Data was brought to World Bird Sanctuary to become an education ambassador.
He travels regularly to programs around the country, and his trainers all agree he wins for feistiest screech owl! Oftentimes while out on display Data has been known to hoot or trill, and will regularly scold guests all on his own if guests approach him too quickly or too close! Data is a gray morph Eastern Screech Owl, and the easiest way to tell him apart from our other gray screeches is by the almost pinkish hue to his feathers.
SPECIES: EASTERN SCREECH OWL
CONSERVATION STATUS: LEAST CONCERN
This little owl is a generalist, with unfussy eating and nesting habits, and it adjusts well to the presence of humans. Eastern Screech-Owls need trees to nest in, or, at least, nest boxes and brushy cover, but their small size, territorial tolerance, and broadly varied diet make this owl a successful survivor.
Scientific Name: Otus asio
Description: smallest eared owl in the eastern US; color ranges from grey to brown to reddish, but considered to be found in 2 color phases red and grey; plumage is an excellent example of cryptic camouflage; color pattern of plumage resembles the bark of the trees so closely they are nearly invisible when still; identified by ear tufts and textured coloration
Sex: no visible differences
Age: up to 13 years
Weight: 4.3-8.6 oz.
Habitat: wood lots, heavily wooded regions in rural areas, wooded strips of residential areas
Range: United States east of the Rocky Mountains and into northeastern Mexico
Behavior: nests in natural tree cavities, old woodpecker holes or man-made nest boxes; female lays 4-6 eggs that are incubated for 25-27 days; both parents feed the young; owlets leave the nest in about 4 weeks, but will be tended by the parents for another 5-6 weeks; can reproduce at 1 year of age
Diet: mainly insects, small mammals, birds, crayfish and earthworms
Vocalization: long, high-pitched, trilling call
– Screech Owls can be found in two main color morphs, a gray morph and a red morph.
– Eastern Screech-Owls readily accept nest boxes; consider putting one up to attract a breeding pair. Make sure you put it up well before breeding season. Attach a guard to keep predators from raiding eggs and young
– Although small, this owl is fearless and has been known to dive at dogs, cats and even humans when defending its young