Western Screech-Owl

The Western Screech Owl (Otus kennicottii) is a small owl which is a permanent resident in western North America where it nests in open deciduous or mixed woods. They nest in a cavity in a tree or cactus, often using old woodpecker holes.

Adults have either brown or dark grey plumage with streaking on the underparts. They have a round head with ear tufts, yellow eyes and a yellowish bill. They were previously considered to be the same species as the Eastern Screech Owl.

These birds wait on a perch and swoop down on prey; they may also catch insects in flight. They mainly eat small mammals and large insects, also small birds. They are active at night or near dusk, using their excellent hearing and night vision to locate prey.

The call is a series of short whistles at an increasing tempo or a short then long trill.