SCREECH OWLS, Gray and Red

Screech-Owlfor-web     In a post last week, I wrote about how Eastern Screech Owls come in two phases (or, more accurately, morphs), red and gray.

   Tom Burr, a friend of this blog, wonders: "Do screech owls  always pick mates of their own color phase, or do they not discriminate? And if two different color phased owls mate, what color are the offspring?"
   The first year I had screech owls move into the nesting box, I had a red-phased male and a gray-phased female. 
   I doubt they paid much attention to their mate's feather color.

   I do not know if any of the owlets
Gray-phase survived (which is why I eventually installed a camera,but that's another story). But later broods of owlets contained both red-phase and gray-phased Screechers even though both parents were gray-phase.

   (I'd also like to note that these photos were taken more than four years ago, when I knew little about Screech Owls. The red-phase owl in the photo looks stressed out; I should retreated long before the photo was taken.) More on that in another post...
   Next: All about nesting boxes.  Feel free to ask questions or send me a comment by clicking here.