Western Screech-Owl
(Otus kennicottii )

Western Screech-Owl

The screech-owl sounds nothing like its name would imply. In fact, their call is described as a hollow, mournful, wailing sound. Its shivering hoot and mysterious yellow eyes make this nocturnal creature the subject of many superstitions around the world.

The western screech-owl commonly ccurrs in Utah and ranges in color from light gray to light brown. This species also has black streaks or barring on the underparts and gray or brown ear tufts. It looks similar to a great horned owl, but smaller. An adult usually reaches 7 to 10 inches from bill tip to tail tip and has a wingspread of 19 to 22 inches.

Mating occurs in March or early April, however, screech-owls may begin looking for nesting sites as early as January. Two to seven eggs are laid and are incubated for 21 to 30 days. At night, the female remains with the nest while the male forages for birds, insects, and small mammals (screech-owls are great mousers).

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