After much anticipation and preparation, a new young owl has joined the education staff at the International Owl Center: JR, the 3-month-old Eastern Screech-Owl!
JR is a male and weighs just a bit more than a quarter-pound hamburger. He is a stunning little red morph (the species also comes in gray) and a real crowd pleaser. His back, wing and tail feathers are fully grown in, but his adult breast and head feathers will fill in sometime in the next few weeks.
Scarlet and Wink, JR’s parents, are non-releasable education ambassadors at the Illinois Raptor Center, so this line of work runs in the family.
At the Owl Center JR is housed in a 4’x4’ enclosure right next to Uhu the Eurasian Eagle Owl. This provides an amazing perspective of how big and small owls can be, since Uhu weighs 14 times more than JR (and in the wild would happily eat an owl the size of JR, hence the need for JR to be in an enclosure with a visual barrier at work.) At home JR lives in an 8’x10’ outdoor aviary and loves to hunt live crickets to supplement his diet of mice.
Visit the International Owl Center in Houston soon if you want to see JR in his juvenile plumage! For more information, hours and prices visit www.InternationalOwlCenter.org.