Western Screech-owl

Megascops kennicottii




This owl is small, grey-brown, with small ear tufts, and a white chest with fine black lined feathers. This nocturnal owl hunts anything smaller than itself and is non-migratory.


This owl is found in lower elevation forested areas, frequently close to water. The forest type and proportion of coniferous to deciduous trees may vary, however, the preferred breeding sites are usually below 600 m and mature Black Cottonwood trees are usually present.


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

You Can Help!

Protect 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
Consider restoring riparian habitat using local species such as cottonwood, waterbirch and aspen, and a variety of shrubs