where it lives
This small owl has noticeable feather tuffs on the side of its head. Its brown/grey/white mottled feathers provide the perfect camouflage. You are not likely to spot them during the day because they sleep inside hollow trees or dense shrubs. At night, they wake to begin hunting their prey. The tell-tale “bouncing ball” hoots of a Screech-owl will alert you to their presence.
Western Screech-Owls prefer open deciduous or mixed forests, especially near water. These owls feed only at night on a wide assortment of prey including insects, fish, birds and even earthworms! Western Screech-Owls are rare in Lillooet but have been found in the Xaxli’p Community Forest (Fountain Creek) as well as lower Cayoosh Creek and along the Fraser River to Lytton.
- B.C. Conservation Data Centre https://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/eswp/
- Habitat Atlas for Species At Risk https://www.env.gov.bc.ca/okanagan/esd/atlas/species/screech.html
- Recovery Plan for the Western Screech-Owl https://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/recovery/rcvrystrat/w_screech_owl_rcvry_strat130208.pdf
- British Columbia Breeding Bird Atlas https://www.birdatlas.bc.ca/accounts/speciesaccount.jsp?sp=WSOW&lang=en
- The Cornell Lab of Ornithology https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Western_Screech-Owl/sounds
- Fraser River Western Screech-Owl Conservation and Management Report https://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wildlife/wsi/reports/4956_WSI_4956_RPT_2012.PDF
What you can do
If you live in suitable habitat for Screech Owls, consider constructing a nesting box for them. Learn how to build your own owl nest box here!
Become an Expert
Check out these studies of the Western Screech-owl in and around Lillooet!