Screech Owl

Screech-Owl in the Kitchen

from Talkin’ Birds Ambassador Don Amiralian, Burlington, MA

One day in February, I got up early and went into the kitchen for coffee. Still a bit sleepy, I noticed a brown stocking hat on the windowsill. I then remembered that I don't own a brown stocking hat. I looked again and was startled to see a rufous-phase Eastern Screech-Owl playing possum on my windowsill.

I immediately called the animal control officer in town. After hearing my story, he said that he would send over a raptor rehabilitator. Ten minutes later, the owl lady arrived. She quickly captured the bird by throwing one of my dishtowels over its head. She then deftly but gently snatched the bird, controlling its sharp talons. The bird woke up and began snapping its bill rapidly. It was quite angry.

I later found out that the owl lady had a veterinarian examine the bird. It was determined that the bird was blind in one eye, so they decided not to release it because it would not fare well in the wild. The last I heard, the bird was doing quite well and was eating mice provided by the owl lady.

To this day, I can’t figure out how that bird got into my house.