Sierra Outdoor School has an exciting new ambassador at the Raptor Center! We received a female Western Screech Owl from Stanislaus Wildlife Center near Turlock, California on Monday. The owl is an adult that was being kept illegally as a pet. Due to being raised by a human, this owl cannot survive in the wild as it did not develop hunting or mating skills from its parents. This is the second bird of our Raptor Center that must be cared for due to being taken in illegally by humans. Remember, if you find a bird or raptor or any other wildlife, you cannot raise it as a pet. If it is healthy, leave it alone. If it is injured, call a veterinarian or wildlife center.
Western Screech Owls are one of three Screech Owl species found in North America but this occurred recently when Eastern and Western Screech Owls were classified as different species. Western Screech Owls are nocturnal animals, cavity nesters and carnivores that eat mammals sometimes bigger than they are, such as cottontail rabbits and Mallard ducks. Our fully-grown female weighs just half a pound: that is the same as a 8 oz glass of water!
Check out the WSO call: