This is Misty. She is a full grown Western Screech Owl that came into the center in March after being hit by a car on Old Creek Rd. A very compassionate woman (named Misty) brought her in and still checks up on her to this day.
After a visit to the vet, we learned that Misty was completely blind. Even though she made a full recovery, we would never be able to return her to the wild. While this was very sad, it was silver lined, because we applied for and got a license to keep Misty as an educational animal! If you ever see her at an event, you will see all of the qualities that make her a great educational animal, such as her calm character even while surrounded by many strange people.
Both screech owls and great horned owls have such phenomenal hearing that if Misty had at least 1 good eye, we would have been able to release her.
We often see the Western Screech owls confused with baby great horned owls because they have the ear tufts that make them look horned, and they really look like adorable miniature versions of the horned owls.
There are 21 types of Screech Owls known currently. They are named as such because they do not make the common “hoot” noise associated with owls, but rather, they make a trill sound consisting of more than 4 distinct calls per second, though it doesn’t sound like screaming or screeching. They also have a special “song” they use in courtship that is very unique and ranges with each animal. The screech owl is primarily solitary, except in winter when the male will find a hollow tree or existing nest to woo a mate. The female will assess which male she likes based on the nest location and the food she finds there (insects, reptiles, and small mammals). Imagine ladies, being fed breakfast, lunch, and dinner in bed during pregnancy. That’s what you get when you are a screech owl!
Misty’s story is a success story, but unfortunately, many other animals that have been hit by a car are not so lucky. So be careful driving at night (and during the day) and slow down (within reason and safety) if you see an animal that may possibly want to cross. Also, don’t always assume animals on the side of the road are dead. If you see an animal that may be alive, please donate your time by double-checking. Misty owes her life to a kind person who did just that.
If time is not something you can donate, then donate some money! There are many ways you can help. For more info, visit our website.