Owls Lurking Nearby

Eastern Screech Owl (Otus asio), adult gray morph in tree cavity, taken in Starr County Texas

Owls are normally associated with the deep woods and remote areas, and indeed this is a logical spot to find them. But owls will find smaller parks in urban or suburban areas that work for them. This year, New York City hosted a Snowy Owl for the first time in 130 years. This was a historical visit by this species which is not typically a city park visitor, and it made headlines. But other types of owls regularly spend time in urban and suburban areas, and you may already hear them either on your property or in a nearby park. They may be nearly invisible during the daylight when they are asleep, but dusk through dawn, calls, like this from an Eastern Screech Owl, can give their locations away. A dusk and twilight walk looking for owls can be a pretty exciting thing for kids to do. And don’t underestimate the thrill for adults! The sound of an owl calling in the still of night is a moving experience. For more info, Audubon has some great tips for finding owls close by.

Eastern Screech Owl; Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila