Saturday, November 1, 2008

Adopt a Bird Spotlight: Acorn (Eastern Screech Owl)

Acorn's Story

Species: Eastern Screech Owl (Red Phase)
Hatched: 1995

Acorn is a real crowd pleaser. Whenever he comes on stage the comment is usually, "Isn't he cute!" but don't let his looks fool you. For their size, Eastern Screech Owls are among the feircest predators in nature.

Acorn is a verteran performer and has participated in presentations at Sea World Ohio near Cleveland among other venues. He is currently a favorite of the thousands of children who meet him in schools and auditoriums during one of our Raptor Awareness or Fur Feathers and Scales programs.

Your adoption fee will help to feed, house and care for Acorn in the coming year, so that he can continue to educate and entertain the future generation.

To adopt Acorn, simply click our donation button, make a donation of $50 and specify in your payment notes: Adopt-a-bird: ACORN. Also include your name, phone number, and mailing address so that we can send you your adoption materials!

Every donation helps to feed, house, and provide medical care for the bird of your choice! Adopt-A-Bird Parents receive:
  • A personal visit with the bird you adopt!!!!! Call 636-861-3225 to set up a time for
  • your personal visit.
  • Certificate of Adoption
  • Color photo of the bird you've adopted
  • Sponsorship Card
  • One year's subscription to Mews News (our quarterly newsletter)
  • Life History and Natural History of the bird
  • 10% Discount off WBS merchandise
  • Invitation to Sponsors-only events like Camera Day
  • Discounts on WBS Special Events
  • WBS Decal

Natural History

eastern screech owl
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; gray found mostly in the north; red found mostly in the south; 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 between male and female

Age: up to 13 years

Length: 7-10”

Wingspan: 18-24”

Weight: 5-9 oz.

Habitat: wood lots, heavily wooded regions in rural areas, wooded strips of residential areas

Status: populations currently stable due to it’s ability to adapt to residential areas; often falls victim to vehicle collisions

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: call is a long, high pitched, trilling call

√ have been known to visit backyard birdfeeders at night, where they hunt from a perched position then swoop down to catch the mice that come to feed on fallen seed

√ this bird is fond of bathing and has been known to visit backyard birdbaths at night

√ although small, this owl is fearless and has been known to dive at dogs, cats and even humans when defending it’s young

Adopt A Bird profiles are written and photographed by Gay Schroer.


Cella said...

I have a Screech Owl living in my yard. She came with her mate and their five babies back in May 2008. They left in August and the female returned in October. We built her an Owl House and she has been here ever since. It has been such a joy to watch her. I feel I have been blessed to witness her and her family all summer long and to know that she returned makes me honored to have her. I have taken over 300 pictures of her and her family and I would love to show you some day.

Anonymous said...

Last Christmas day, our daughter discovered a grey Eastern Screech Owl in a large yupon "tree" over our driveway near our carport and back door, the busiest area of our yard. Bamboo hangs over the limb perch, giving some shelter from the elements. Every day since we have observed "her", in that two of our grandchildren named her Barbara Ann, after the song they had just heard in my car.
Yesterday (2/11) I discovered another, smaller grey Eastern Screech Owl about 2 feet from the first. I rushed out today, purchased a Screech Owl nesting box and hope they will use it.
We plan to place it on a large pine tree close to their perch while they are out hunting at night where bamboo helps protect it. I hope this does not drive them away, and hope they use it.

Anonymous said...

im doing a 12 paragraph essay on eastern screech owls and this site was really helpful! thanks so much!

Photog said...

To both of our "anonymous" visitors -- we're so glad that you're finding our blog informative and/or helpful! I hope your screech owls are indeed a pair and use your nestbox. What a fantastic experience that would be for your grandchildren!!