Reggie the Screech Owl
Reggie, a female Eastern screech owl , was brought to Cedar Run in the summer of 2000 as a juvenile. She suffered a severe eye injury probably due to impact with a vehicle. The injury left Reggie blind in her left eye. Because of this permanent injury, Reggie could not be successfully released back into the wild. Not only would she be unable to hunt successfully, but she would also become easy prey for a predator.
During her recuperation, it was determined that Reggie would make an excellent candidate for our Raptor Education Program. This feisty little owl quickly learned to sit on a glove and follow simple commands.
After eight years of working as a tiny Ambassador for the refuge, Reggie was retired from the Education Team. Visitors may now view Reggie in our screech owl enclosure located in the Wildlife Housing Area. Look up in the rafters for the beautiful screech owl with the vivid cinnamon red feathers and the black eye!
Screech Owl Facts
- very small owl with prominent "ear tufts" (horn-like feathers)
- two mottled color morphs, rufous red and gray
- commonly found in the eastern United States and southern Canada
- lives in almost any habitat such as forest edges, open woodlands, orchards, gardens, lakeshores, parks, and residential areas
- Belongs to a group of carnivorous birds known as raptors, or birds of prey
- Is typically nocturnal, hunts at dusk and through the night
- Exceptional hearing and eyesight
- Fixed eyes and flexible neck (can rotate head 270 degrees)
- Sharp talons used to capture and kill prey; short curved beak used to tear prey apart when too large to swallow whole
- silent flight (fringes on edges of flight feathers muffle sound)
- opportunistic hunter; will eat any kind of small animal, such as mice, voles, songbirds, lizards, snakes, frogs, fish, crayfish, worms, and insects
- commonly vocalizes with a low trill or a descending whinny
- solitary, except during mating season
- nests in natural tree cavities and woodpecker holes; will also use nest boxes
- preyed upon by all larger owls, cats, some larger hawks, raccoons, weasels, skunks, and snakes; frequently hit by motor vehicles
- life span: about 3-7 years in the wild, up to 20 years in captivity
Links to more facts about screech owls