Eastern Screech Owl Encounter

by Ann Collins

Editor’s note: We’ll be sharing a few stories from Ann’s nature observation notebooks over the coming weeks. We hope you enjoy them!

Driving home from a meeting the other night, almost to the house, just about at the chicken house, a small bird fluttered to the ground.

What the heck, I thought, is that?

It landed softly on the road and just sat there looking straight into the car lights. The little bird was a soft grayish-brown and looked fluffy. It was six to eight inches tall, according to my estimate.

Royalty-free image!

By then I had identified him a an Eastern screech owl. I’ve seen them here before and heard them even more often, but I’d never had such a good look.

We sat, mesmerized, looking at each other for a bit. Then he fluttered up and flew into the woods across from the chickens. He didn’t seem to be a strong flyer.

I hope he stays around. I’m not trying to raise purple martins or anything else, so everyone is welcome to hang out here. I don’t know if he is a nest robber or a predator of smaller birds. Whatever. I’ll just let nature take its course and be happy with that!

3 thoughts on “Eastern Screech Owl Encounter”

  1. From what I know of screech owls from the annual convention they are not the best flyers, do not fly far from nest and mainly catch small creatures they see below them or below their nest.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We keep a screech owl box in our front yard tree due to the lack of rotting timber and nesting hollows in the suburbs. They roost in it from time to time. Their calls are bizarre and beautiful. I really enjoy hearing them outside our windows at night. If you can learn the call they will fly right to you to check you out. Other birds will come out of the wood work too since they know what it means. A great birding tool. My husband is teaching this skill to my daughter. She just loves it.

    Liked by 1 person

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