Author Topic: Western Screech Owl???  (Read 5031 times)

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Offline Calindy

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Western Screech Owl???
« on: Jan 29, 06, 04:25:03 PM »
My kids found some nesting owls in a Joshua Tree, on our back lot (Phelan). I took this photo (and others) with a telephoto lense, and I told the kids that area is OFF LIMITS, because we want them to stay and raise thier babies! :) Can someone confirm if this is a Western Screech Owl? Thanks!
Proud US Navy Mom, Support our Troops!

wwpt

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #1 on: Jan 29, 06, 05:04:58 PM »
 

    I think we've got one! Try the link there are sound bites you can play and compare also..How neat! Be careful about directly feeding them..Better to indirectly leave things out for the mother to find.
 
 http://www.owling.com/Western_Screech.htm

Wildman

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #2 on: Jan 29, 06, 05:55:51 PM »
If it is a Screech Owl, you will definately hear some loud and screeching vocalizations.  Especially when they are feeding young.  Some were nesting on the cliff where we kept our sailboat in Dana Point and we thought there were demons about.

Offline Calindy

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #3 on: Jan 29, 06, 06:04:43 PM »
Thanks for the link!! I will go out tonight and listen for them...I think they are great "neighbors".......
I plan to leave them alone, if the dad owl is anything like the last nesting owls I saw last year...there are plenty of yummy rodents for mom to eat ;D We saw mom sitting in the nest too

Offline gypsywolf

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #4 on: Jan 29, 06, 08:01:48 PM »
Here is the sizes for a Western Screech:

http://www.owlpages.com/owls.php?genus=Megascops&species=kennicottii

Female average Length: 9.2"
Male average Length: 8.2"

Are the birds this small??

Western Screech Owls usually like wooded areas, not the desert. Mojave Narrows is the only place I have ever seen them locally.

They look like an immature Great Horned Owls to me..

meadowman

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #5 on: Jan 29, 06, 09:50:39 PM »
here's a pic of a screech owl that flew into my windshield a couple years ago. Rehab people took care of it and it was released back into the same forest it came from. They are very small, loud, and agressive. The rehab place said they needed to let it loose after a couple weeks cause he was trying to bite them. My vote goes with the immature great horned owls. I originally thought great horned when I saw the pics. The ears definately look like GH .

wwpt

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #6 on: Jan 29, 06, 10:16:57 PM »
 From the www.owling.com site:
    The adult Great Horned is also the only large owl with prominent ear tufts. The larger size, bulky shape and white chest help to differentiate it from the similarly colored Long-eared Owl. The sexes are alike although the females may have a slightly higher, shorter sequence of notes in their call. In contrast with the adults, the juvenile Great Horned may not show ear tufts and call with a "screech" reminiscent of a Barn Owl. Length is 22" (same size as a Red-tailed Hawk), the iris of the eyes is yellow and the bill is slate-black.
 
   The page also warns vividly about horned owls being very aggressive and protective of their nests...up to attacking people...be careful.

Offline Calindy

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #7 on: Jan 29, 06, 11:11:55 PM »
We plan to stay clear of those owls!! We know we have Barn Owls, but this is the first time I have seen a grey owl with  ears...kinda looks like a Furby! Thanks for the replies, I now think it is a Great Horned Owl after looking at the links. The bird does not seem small, it seems to be about the same size as a Barn Owl.   
At least I got some great photos of the owls, thanks to a telephoto lense!!

Offline firefightersteve

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #8 on: Jan 30, 06, 11:01:26 AM »
Wildman....you know a lot about wildlife....is that where the wildman comes from?

Wildman

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #9 on: Jan 30, 06, 05:19:33 PM »
Wildman 66 was my callsign in Viet Nam.  Nickname stuck when I got on the fire department.

Offline firefightersteve

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #10 on: Jan 30, 06, 06:22:53 PM »
Makes sense.....We were busy again last night....Starting  a new motor mount for my orange julius....then I want  to take a look at that fire road.

Offline firefightersteve

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #11 on: Jan 30, 06, 06:23:59 PM »
Calindy.....what are the owls up to?...any more pictures?

Offline Calindy

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #12 on: Jan 31, 06, 01:47:15 PM »
This is mommy in the nest, she was watching me so I took a few photos and left her alone. I am keeping everyone away from that tree. I do hear them at night, the regular ole "Who,Who"....very neat creatures!



Offline BostonBob

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #13 on: Jan 31, 06, 01:58:14 PM »
Calindy, could you ask her a question? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? ;D

Nice pics, I think owls are pretty neat creatures. Thanks for sharing.

Offline Wrightwood

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #14 on: Jan 31, 06, 02:07:33 PM »
Calindy how close were you in the last photo?

Offline Calindy

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #15 on: Jan 31, 06, 08:59:37 PM »
Wrightwood, the owls are nesting in the joshua tree (on the right hand side of the photo) almost near the top of the tree.  I stand by the juniper bush (left hand side of the photo), and take the pictures with a telephoto lense. When I download the digital pictures, I crop the photo to bring the owl closer.
I am keeping everyone away from that area.  :)


Offline Calindy

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #16 on: Jan 31, 06, 09:07:06 PM »
Hi All,
I posted the owl photo on a barn owl research site, and this is the response:
 There are many Ornithologists who consider the Great Horned Owl, and other Bubo owls around the globe, as the greatest natural enemy of the barn owl. In Yakima County, Washington one study there indicated a greater than 30% prey-base of barn owl by localized Great Horned Owl. They are also notorious for killing nesting Red-tailed Hawk and claiming their nests. They are certainly one of the most aggressive raptors on this planet.
 
Douglas E. Trapp, Owner
TYTO RESEARCH

I wonder if that is the reason I have not seen the barn owls around??? I had mentioned in my post to Tyto Research, that we have a red-tailed hawk on our land too. Hope the Great Horned Owl does not get it. I took some neat pics of the red-tailed hawk sitting in a tree yesterday....I thought the owls would fear it, I guess the red-tailed hawk should fear the owls :o

Offline gypsywolf

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #17 on: Jan 31, 06, 09:40:08 PM »
Calindy,

Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful images of such a great bird. And one the average person does not get see very often. Great job!!!

wwpt

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #18 on: Jan 31, 06, 10:25:37 PM »
 

    Awesome pic, that last one of the Mom....The red tail was probably stalking your cockateil...We had one watch ours for days ...then WHAM..hit the picture window so hard thought someone shot a cannonball at us...the hawk found its way to an electrical wire and was teetering there for a few to gain his senses back....Saw that his claws wrappped around the cable and overlapped..darn near as big as a human hand on an 16" bird. Quite a respectable grasp....be careful...if they get mad...they'll give you a new dooo! As in hairdoo. the Great Horned Owls are not called Great for nothing...they call screech owls and hawks  "bunch of lunch".  I know people who swear their cats have been taken by them. Quite a formidable predator.

Offline firefightersteve

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #19 on: Feb 01, 06, 04:36:17 PM »
Wow....look at those eyes!....Very nice Calindy.....

Offline firefightersteve

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #20 on: Feb 01, 06, 04:57:19 PM »

Offline Calindy

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #21 on: Feb 04, 06, 12:08:20 AM »
Firefighter Steve...did u do the owl face in Photoshop Elements??? Very cool!

Offline firefightersteve

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #22 on: Feb 06, 06, 07:46:05 AM »
Hi Calidy......."Erased with a soft edge...then lightened the photo.....then used the "select"..."color range"......one of the browns...then adjusted that brown ......I love your owl photos....those eyes are penetrating".

wwpt

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #23 on: Feb 06, 06, 08:49:05 AM »
 
 
    Calidy..you're pics are better than any on the owling site..much easier to identify also! And Steve...What neat touches you've added...Thanks for letting us share this special visitor you've had. Something most of us will never get to see up close.

Offline Calindy

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Re: Western Screech Owl???
« Reply #24 on: Feb 07, 06, 06:44:37 PM »
Thanks for all the great comments! The owls are fun to watch, and I am excited that they will have babies soon! I am really enjoying taking photos of them.  The Owl was sitting on top of "his tree" this evening, he saw something that excited him..notice his pinpoint pupils and puffed up feathers. He does not react to me. When I am by the tree (which is not very often), he will look at me, and then close his eyes, or go back to looking around for dinner.