Screech owl hunting at night

We think the screech owl in this video is probably Nicky, the owl who lives in a box in our back yard. Each evening he flits out of his box and heads off to hunt, and this is one of his favorite spots. We just happen to have a camera there and can often watch him at work.

Conveniently for us, another of his regular hunting grounds is also near a camera; he sits up in a live oak tree above a trail used by the the deer, foxes, coyotes, and raccoons as they come and go. They are utterly oblivious of Nicky’s watchful gaze, and we sometimes joke that he’s thinking to himself “I could take that buck. I could!  I’m just not in the mood. I’m not that hungry right now”. (For those who are not familiar with screech owls: They’re tiny, about the size of a Coke can, and most of the time they hunt for bugs and other little creepy crawlies – although Nicky does occasionally catch a songbird and bring it back to his box to nibble on throughout the day.)

On the night of this video, Nicky had to make do with bugs.



  1. I’m not sure if this applies to Great Horned Owls, but I know that Barred Owls will usually keep 2 nests, one for them and one for raising chicks. Maybe your owl couple does the same!

    1. Interesting. The big owls are still using the nest near the house as a rendezvous and rat-handover site, but so far they haven’t settled down. There is another big nest about 300 ft away that they check out occasionally. We would be so excited if they took one or other (and doubly excited if they took both!).

    1. That’s very exciting. Thank you for telling us! We were out and we missed them. We caught a glimpse of 2 screech owls in that same spot a few nights ago but yours is the first real sighting. It would be so great if they were a pair and raised a family in one of the boxes. Nicky seems to be male – he disappears in February each year, we assume to support his mate and bring up chicks. Perhaps he can persuade the little woman to nest here this year?

  2. Hello! I could have sworn I’ve visited your blog before but after looking at some of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I discovered it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back often!

  3. What cameras are you using? We have a few PTZ infrared capable cams from CTRONICS, that we use on our small 10.3 acres here in Williamson County TX. Your vid quality is great! Mine claim 1080p res, but doesn’t look like it on recordings. Our property is laid out in a right triangle and we wanted the cams to cover as much of the property as possible, so we placed 1 cam on each corner facing inward towards the center of the prop. for this reason, I believe the cams
    We have are designed for recording at longer distances and is possibly the reason for thd disparity in clarity.

    We have 2 Screech Owl boxes setup and have seen one on the property a few times.
    Interesting story. We moved in on 12/23/2020 and that night the Screech Owl kept us up all night making the most annoying noises. We were terrified it was gonna be like that every night. Haven’t heard a peep since. Wonder what the racket was all about? Are they territorial? Was it possibly telling us to politely “get the F-off its property?” I guess we’ll never know…

    1. Let’s pretend that the screech owl was just welcoming you to your new home! We have a screech owl who over-winters with us every year, and we love to see him. His arrival in the fall heralds the end of hot weather. He’s on our live stream at the moment.

      Dan is looking at your CTronics cameras online. Are they wireless? Ours are all wired-in. We have miles of cable criss-crossing our property (we have about 50 cameras up and running at the moment, and that takes a lot of cable).

      We have a page on the website that provides more information about our cameras: We use Dahua security cameras, and we run them through a software system called Blue Iris. The cameras are very good. These days we’re buying 4 megapixel cameras; they cost about $450 each.

      Feel free to contact us at if you have any questions. We’re happy to help out.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *