Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Silent Flyers

Remember when I told you I attended the owl presentation and met Sprite, the Saw-whet owl.  Well, he wasn't the only raptor I met that evening.  A few other "educational ambassadors" of Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation were there as well.

When Herkimer came out, I really didn't know what I was looking at.  Resembling a small, furry rodent, he sat clinging to his handler's gloved hand.  Not knowing whether to "ooooooo" or "ahhhhhhh," I listened attentively as they told his story, mesmerized by his appearance!  With prominent ear tufts and feathers all the way down to it's toes, the screech is totally nocturnal.


Herkimer, a Red Form Screech Owl, had flown into a window and is now deemed unreleasable due to his wing injury.

"Window strikes" are not uncommon and by placing decals on your windows, they can be avoided.  Did you know that let alone that there are decals that appear clear to us and blue to a bird?  That's all because of the way the light deflects with the eye.


Then came the Gray Form Screech Owl, which is missing one eye and deemed unfit for survival in the it's natural habitat as well.  Meet Jade, who was brought to the aviary after being hit by a truck. (Personally I think she is less scary than Herkimer...LOL!)

Tenacious birds and sometimes referred to as "feathered wildcats", screech owls pursue a variety of small prey...from moths to small rodents...but have been noted to pursue birds as large as pigeons as they are quite fierce!

So now you've met Sprite, Herkimer and Jade.
Wait until you meet Emrys and Oscar!!

Oh, one more thing.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Did you know that owls, when in flight, are nearly silent?
It's because of their feathers...serrated and separated compared to that of, let's say, a Peregrine Falcon.

Sharing with you and those at

Wild Bird Wednesday


  1. both of those are quite interesting looking. I didn't know about their silent flight though. I also had no idea about the window stickers. We don't often have birds fly into ours but there has been a couple

  2. The Screech Owls are so cute. I have not seen an Owl that I did not like.. They are awesome.. The window strikes are horrible, I put some decals on my windows.. A stupid Cardinal was fighting with his rival..the window.. Have a happy day!

  3. Hello!.) I'm with Eileen, I love all Owls, I hear their call every evening, but have never had the good fortune to photograph one. Great post!:)

  4. We have put decals and little pieces of stained glass in our window and still the birds try to fly through it.

  5. they are adorable and Herkemer looks like he has fur and not feathers.. glad they have someone to care for them and teach others.

  6. Both of those little owls are absolutely adorable!!! Thank goodness for rehab and education!

  7. they're beauties. glad they're well taken care of.

  8. I love your blog and wanted to mention that here in Wisconsin the love of Eagles is soaring! The 3rd weekend of January in our little town is always Eagle Watching Days and it is filled with educational opportunities for everyone. This is year 28 for the celebration. On Friday all the children in the school district are treated to raptor presentations, and the traffic in our little village is steady with cars driving through from all states around us. We also have a large dam in town, so the open water keeps the eagles happy. Just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blog! (here is the link to our town's small event

  9. We only have one native owl here in New Zealand but I did get to see some on our holiday last year. I didn't know that about their feathers--amazing!!

  10. He looks tinier than Sprite! Is he full grown? SO cute!!! I am just loving this owl series!! I know if an owl cannot fly silently, they will not be successful at hunting.

  11. Screech Owls are my favorite.

    Had one in the house as a child. (Rescued from a downed tree) When strangers came he would fly to the quilting frame against the ceiling and turn that head so comically. I guess you might say he was a watch owl.

  12. LOVE these two forms of screech owl! Sweet birds!

  13. Aren't these owls sweet! The only time I saw one in the wild, I didn't have my camera with me.
    I usually read blogs in the morning over coffee on my iPad but I'm afraid I may be hit and miss commenting here JP. The snowflakes are affecting the IOS system somehow and this morning your page froze.
    Typing is much easier and faster on my laptop anyway. :-)

  14. oh, so cute they are ....I want one.....


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