Photos & Images - Western Screech Owl (Otus kennicottii)
~ Juvenile ~
The owl family frequented our yard after dusk in the summer months. We could usually spot two adults and 3 babies.
They sound like "Cousin It" from the Adams Family, conversing in little stacatto "er-er-er-er-er" sounds.
~ Adult ~
The adults are about 10" tall from head to tail.
We have seen the adults feed earthworms to the juveniles.
They are approachable, but the adults are quick to make threatening actions if you go too near a baby.
Garrett took these pictures in early July 1999, using a Kodak Mavica digital flash camera and lots of patience.
Thanks to wildlife biologist David Griffin, who viewed our photos and identified our little friends.
He gave a great description:
"The gray color and vertical streaking on the adult and horizontal streaking on the juvenile are indicative of western screech-owl. The western screech-owl is found throughout the west (west of the Rocky Mountains). The western screech-owl has two color phases: gray and brown. Up to 7% of the Pacific populations are brown, the rest are gray."
We had tentatively identified these little guys as Boreal Owls (Aegolius funereus). Our other incorrect guess was a Saw-Whet Owl. Photos we had looked at in books & on the web showed the gray phase. Ours are definitely brown!
If you mistakenly use our photos for commercial (profit) purposes, please donate 50% of the profits to a college student, or your conscience will not let you rest.