Western Screech-owl

Megascops kennicottii macfarlani

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Habitat

Status

Endangered (Federal)
Blue List (Provincial)

Description

The Interior subspecies of Western Screech-owls are greyish-brown with dark mottles streaks all over. The chest is paler with finer black streaking. They have small ear tufts and yellow eyes. Screech-owls are tiny; most would fit in a coffee mug.

Western Screech-owls are dependant on riparian (creekside) forests as they strongly prefer to nest in large, mature Black Cottonwood, Trembling Aspen and Water-birch trees. They are opportunistic hunters and will eat nearly anything smaller than them, including large volumes of insects.

Western Screech-owls can be found in thick, healthy low-elevation riparian forests through the Okanagan and Similkameen. They are generally non-migratoty

Threats

-Predation from Barred Owls
-Habitat loss from logging or tree removal
-Destruction of riparian areas in valley bottoms

You Can Help!

-Protect and restore riparian plant communities
-Retain large diameter native trees within riparian habitats, particularly ones with cavities (wildlife trees)
-Allowing natural periodic flooding of riparian woodlands to encourage regeneration
-Report sightings to your local conservation group
-Put up owl boxes on your property
-Avoid complete removal of wildlife trees and consider modifications such as limbing or topping trees that pose a hazard

Resources