Cascades Raptor Center

Range - Most of the western United States.

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Resident Raptor - Western Screech Owl

Ravi and Opa

Ravi Ravi  Presumed female by size, was the sole survivor in her nest when the tree was cut down during logging. She was so young that, when then raised illegally by someone who did not understand that for a normal life in the wild she needed to be with Opa & Ravi in juvenile plumage others of her own kind, she became a ‘human imprint.’ An imprint, beyond being highly socialized to people, actually considers humans conspecifics - they look to a human as a mate and to other humans as territorial competitors, and can become extremely aggressive. A bird either flying to people in trust or attacking them as interlopers will not survive long in the wild. She was turned over to CRC in July 2005, when she was about two months old.
(Ravi is glove-trained.)  Adopt Ravi

Opa  Was found June 21, 2005, when she was about 3 weeks old, with a badly infected and ulcerated eye. The eye had ruptured and had to be surgically removed. Such an injury might have been from a fall, from an attack by a crow, jay or other bird, or even in play or competition with a sibling. Although an adult nocturnal owl that loses sight in one eye may be able to survive, it would be very difficult for a youngster to become proficient enough at hunting to learn to fend for itself with this handicap. Being socialized to people at such a young age, however, will help minimize her stress levels during a life in captivity.
(Opa is glove-trained.)  Adopt Opa

Western Screech Owl (Megascops kennicottii)

Courtesy of Barbara Gleason Phoebe This owl has small, wide-set feather tufts that often lead finders to think this is a "baby great horned owl"; large, yellow eyes; streaked underparts (w/ horizontal black barring in the juveniles changing to irregular vertical streaks in adult plumage); very well camouflaged for its day-time roosts against the trunks of trees; biggest of the little owls.


Size - Length: 9+" • Wing Span: 18-24" • Weight: 4-8 oz.

Ravi Status - State and federally protected.

Habitat - Woodlands, orchards, and backyard groves; locally, can be found throughout the urban area wherever trees provide sufficient cover; studies have shown this species to actually live longer and have better nesting success in suburban areas than in rural areas, probably due to plenty of food such as moths and beetles attracted to house lights or gardens, mice, and perhaps fewer predators, such as the larger owls who might not be as willing to live so close to humans.

Diet - Small mammals, birds, reptiles and large insects.

Call - Has a wide variety of vocalizations, none at all like a 'screech,' though the Eastern Screech Owl is reputed to screech; most common call is a quivering whistle that ends in a downward cascade, often likened to a ping-pong ball's bounce: hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-oo-oo.

Nesting - Roosts and lays eggs in cavities; young go through stage of 'branching' before fully capable of flight in which they leave the nest to explore, but are still being cared for by adults.

Most Common Problems - As with all owls, the most common cause of injury is collision with cars/trucks; other problems - flying into windows, falling down chimneys in search of nesting site, poisoning (through insecticides and rodenticides), tangling in fishing line. Young owls are most frequently brought in by well-intentioned people who find them on the ground or in plain sight during the 'brancher' stage but see no sign of parents; nest trees are cut down with young or eggs; young get knocked out of trees by crows or caught by cats.

  ANCA Member

Cascades Raptor Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization (Federal ID No. 93-1038827) dedicated to wildlife rescue and public education to enhance appreciation, respect, and stewardship of the natural world.


CRC logo art by Jeanne Hammond-Elliott.  Drawings by Barbara Gleason & Karl Edwards.  Photographic sources noted as provided.