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?

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