When this young Western Screech Owl was rescued from Reynolds Road near Baker Creek, he was still fuzzy all over. We prefer to return birds to their parents when we can, but it was impossible to locate his nest in the large stand of nearby cottonwoods.
Screech owls nest in tree cavities, often using ones created by Red-shafted Flickers. They hunt a wide variety of prey—mice, beetles, crickets, lizards, crayfish and small fish, small snakes, and occasional small birds.
Our young Screech quickly learned to catch crickets and superworms and hunt and kill live mice. One warm summer dusk, he was released into the area where he was found. Western Screech Owls are common here, but rarely seen. Their unusual calls are often heard but not recognized.