Did you know?

  • The Western Screech Owl and the Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) were considered the same species until the 1970’s and can be distinguished by their different vocal calls (Harrison 2004).
  • The male Western-Screech Owl is smaller than the female. The male weighs on average 120 grams while the female weighs 146 grams (Gehlbach 2003).
  • The Western Screech-Owl was formerly known as the Otus kennicottii. The word Otus is derived from a greek word meaning ear because of its outstanding sense of hearing (Merriam-Webster Dictonary).
  • Commonly, owls are thought to be a symbol of wisdom (OwlWorlds).  Haven’t you ever called someone a wise old owl?
  • Owls regurgitate pellets of bones and other indigestible parts of the animals that they eat (Allen and Taylor 2013 ) because they do not have a crop (a storage unit that saves food to eat later) like other birds (OwlWorlds).  
  • There are many other owls that are endangered because of urban development and learning about their natural habitats can help humans learn how to prevent destruction of that natural habitat (Cannings 2007).
  • The Megascops kennicottii  is named in honor of Robert Kennicott. Robert Kennicott was a naturalist during the mid-1800’s who died a young death in his thirties, but his collections live on and he has set a  solid foundation for more information to be gathered in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History 2014).


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