Thursday, May 21, 2009

Whooooo are You?

Images: Baby owl.

Last evening Jerry heard the dogs raising a ruckus by the woods. When he got to them the one dog had a baby owl in his mouth. These are the pictures of the little fellow. He didn't appear to be hurt but was very young. He would chatter/click a bit to us and turn and blink his eyes. It was very "human" behavior. His behavior was something like a pet.

We locked the dogs and cats inside for the night. Jerry placed the towel and owl in a fork in the tree near where the owl was found; only inside the fence. After about fifteen minute, he checked back and there was no owl anyplace so hopefully mother swept him away or he suddenly learned to fly.

Baby owls are not that easy to identify. All I have to go on was a light gray beak, yellow/green eyes and lots of down in shades of gray. Babies don't look much like adults.

We decided it might be the Eastern Screech-Owl Otus asio or a Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus.

Lot's of owl facts, lots of pictures and still indecisive. Some things that pertain to both:

They usually swallow their food whole and then regurgitate up hair balls, bones and other "stuff." Depending on which owl we settle on - they eat anything from big bugs to skunks.

Both live in unlined nests. They use cavities in trees made by others or nesting boxes. They lay several eggs and the female takes care of them. The male will feed and protect the female and young.

We'll just have to see if we can spot this little fellow some evening as he matures to better identify.

They are the "Family Strigidae" or known as "True Owls".

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