Western Screech Owl

Western Screech Owl
Megascops kennicottii

This compact raptor is one of the smallest owl species in North America with a range that extends all the way from southern Alaska down to Nicaragua. Despite its name, the Western Screech Owl does not screech, but makes a series of toots and an occasional soft hooting. 

Their wide range means that the Western Screech Owl can thrive in a variety of habitats. This cavity nesting owl can be found primarily in forested areas and are known to venture into the deserts, mountains, and suburban parks. They are also extremely flexible when it comes to food. Their choice of prey can vary based on the season and their location, and can include small rodents, bats, insects, crayfish, snails, small birds, scorpions, and even rabbits! 

Lindsay’s own Western Screech Owl, Cypress, was originally found at Banner Mountain near Nevada City, CA at just three days old. Too young to survive alone, she was brought to a nearby wildlife rehabilitation facility and was raised with seven other Screech Owls of similar age. The seven other owls were successfully returned to the wild but Cypress had already begun to show signs of imprinting. She was later deemed non-releasable due to her being so accustomed to people; she arrived at Lindsay Wildlife Experience in July 2018

Cypress is part of our flight program here at Lindsay. Keepers have flown her for night programs by placing little LED lights on her equipment to show her location in the dark! She receives superworm treats for doing a good job flying (which she always does). Yum!