British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide
Description - The western screech-owl is a
small owl that is generally an overall grey although some
birds in the humid, coastal, northwest are brownish. The
underparts are marked with blackish streaks and thinner
bars. It has yellow eyes, a dark bill and ear tufts when
the head is raised. The voice is a series of hollow whistles
on one pitch, separated at first then running into a "bouncing
ball" series of low whistles.
Distribution - The western screech-owl is resident
from Alaska south through British Columbia into Mexico
and east to the U.S. Rockies. The inhabit woodlands, orchards
and yards with many trees.
- Western screech-owls feed on mice and meadow moles whose
populations fluctuate greatly. Therefore they only incubate
one egg at a time to ensure that the youngster will have
plenty of food. Thus the eggs hatch in sequence and the
young vary widely in size and age. The nest is a natural
cavity, a woodpecker's hole or a man-made nest box.