The Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke has a new “Education Ambassador.”
This Eastern screech-owl cannot be released since it is blind in one eye. Adults, with one eye, can be released because they’ve already learned to hunt using their hearing in conjunction with their vision.
Owlets like this would be at a disadvantage that they could never overcome; never able to develop the proper hunting skills it would starve. So, we keep them to educate the public about the importance of wildlife conservation and rehabilitation. We plan to auction off the naming of our newest addition at our gala this fall.
What do you think its name should be?
Eastern screech-owls are small weighing only 5.8 ounces. They are rarely seen during the day, but are very active at night doing most of their hunting in the first four hours of darkness. Contrary to their name they don’t actually screech but make whinnies and trills. When they fly they are so quiet that even with special equipment they can barely be heard even though they flap their wings 5 times every second. They love to live in cavities found in trees, specifically abandoned holes created by woodpeckers. On average they live up to 8 years in the wild but the oldest recorded was 13 years.