Western Screech-Owl (Megascops kennicottii)
Status in the Checklist Area - Uncommon*

One of our smaller owls preferring riparian habitats. Strictly nocturnal and feeds on a variety of foods including small mammals, birds, insects and amphibians. Nests mostly in tree cavities or bird boxes and will breed beginning in March. By most accounts, including data collected locally in our checkist area, is uncommon and declining. The coastal subspecies is Blue Listed and considered a species of concern. The expansion, and consequent predation, by the Barred Owl and habitat loss likely leading factors in this species' decline. The interior subspecies, found in the Okanagan, is Red Listed and threatened. Western Screech-Owl is found from southern Alaska to Mexico. The call of the Western Screech-Owl are a series of short whistles, accelerating towards the end.

Due to the species' decline and sensitivity to disturbance at nest and roost sites, exact locations of sightings should not be widely distributed.

Similar species:
Northern Saw-whet Owl and Northern Pygmy-Owl are also small owls regularly encountered in the checklist area, but both lack horns. Flammulated Owl, only detected once in the checklist area, is smaller with dark eyes.

Ehrlich, Dobkin and Wheye, (1988)
Species at Risk Public Registry, 2002

Noteworthy Data
None available
Audio and Video    
None available

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