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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Eastern Screech-Owl in NH

Eastern Screech-Owl

Eastern Screech-Owl at roost hole.

While birding the NH coast recently, we came across this Eastern Screech-Owl, that has been seen by birders, snoozing in its roost hole. This owl has to get the award for most esthetic choice of a roost tree! I love the way the owl is so beautifully camouflaged against the wood, which has been chiseled by saw cuts and insect tunnels.

Screech Owls come in two color morphs, red-morph and gray morph, with also some intermediate brownish plumages. The red morph is common in the Southeast, rarer farther north and west. We don't get many Eastern Screech-Owls in NH, we're at the northern edge of their range. So this was quite a treat.

6 comments:

Sarah said...

Lovely photos of a lovely bird!! Doesn't it make you wonder if this bird KNOWS that it is grey, and chooses a suitable hidey-hole? Would a red morph bird choose the same spot?

Robert Mortensen said...

Owl plumages have been of special interest to me recently. If I can get some quality photos I'll do a little photo essay about it. I have four Great Horned Owls in the trees along the creek in front of my home. All four are very distinctive. One is gray-white, one is gray with a fluffy white bib, one is light brown, the other is dark brown.

Melissa said...

Very beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

Lillian and Don Stokes said...

We were thinking the same thing. It so matched the color of its roost hole, it had to be planned. Then again, one wonders how many suitable holes there were available. Usually less than one thinks. We have done surveys of this before, there's always less. That's why you can help the birds by providing bird houses.

Kat said...

How beautiful! You guys are so fortunate to witness such beauty in nature. Thank you for your site.

Anonymous said...

The way this is worded it seems like you found this owl yourself. It has been posted all over the web and has been there a while. Maybe you should note it was found by someone else and you went to photograph it after hearing reports.