Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Red and Grey Morph Eastern Screech Owl (Petit-duc maculé)

     There are two distinct colour morphs of Eastern Screech Owl Megascops asio, red and grey, with grey being the most common in this area. In fact I have only ever seen one red morph bird in my life, at Point Pelee National Park in 1986. I was discussing this very issue with a friend who is also a long-term birder and he too has only seen one red morph bird, and that quite recently in eastern Ontario.
     Thus it was quite remarkable when another friend, John Chan, sent me this photograph he took recently in Hamilton, ON of a red morph bird and a grey morph bird sharing the same cavity.

     I do not wish to divulge the precise location on my blog, but John has told me where I can perhaps get to see the birds myself, and I will report back with more pictures if I am successful. Unfortunately the weather today does not look too promising for a road trip with predictions of freezing rain for later in the day, but I will certainly try tomorrow if at all possible.
     In the meantime enjoy this picture and join me in sending a warm vote of appreciation to John for sharing it.


  1. Great publication and what a magic photo! :)
    Infortunetly i never saw any red form... Maybe one day!

    Kind regards from Portugal!

  2. I'm drooling, David! What a contented looking pair they are. I wish you all the very best in your quest to find them yourself. My thanks to John for letting you share his delightful image of these birds with us.

    Best wishes - - - Richard

  3. This is a beautiful picture, David.
    I hope you will soon these owls also can photograph.
    Best regards, Irma

  4. Preciosa imagen donde se puede apreciar bien la diferencia de coloración de su plumaje. Un fuerte abrazo desde España.

  5. Ohhh that is beautiful to photograph.
    Beautifully David
    Greetings Tinie

  6. Such a lovely couple of birds. They look beautifully !

  7. I indeed appreciate this kind gesture of John. And hope for you the wether will coöperate so you will be able to take lots of loveley pictures of this couple of owls like your friend did. Good luck.

  8. Fantastic picture and thanks for sharing!
    Gr Jan W

  9. I said something like. How awesome, I hope you get to see them, and on the sly let me know where they are :)

  10. That is a very special picture indeed, how exiting it is to find the 2 morphs together!
    I dearly hope you get a chance at a similar shot!!
    David, about CR... I think we will not be able to make it: it seems that the 2 families, although very seriously involved to buy are having difficulties selling their own property...
    We are quite frustrated, but we feel we cant' withhold the booking longer with so much uncertainty and prevent another couple from benefiting the trip... Maybe later in the future.
    Keep well, huge hugs to you and Miriam.

  11. This is a brilliant capture, David!!!

  12. That could be quite a unique picture David. The two look quite happy at home there and therefore unlikely to go anywhere soon. I can imagine your how keen you are to see these two but not worth risking life and limb on freezing roads.

    It will be interesting to see their offspring.

  13. Ohhhhhhhh ...... I'm jealous! Beautiful is this photo that your friend has sent you! I love owls and this picture is really great. I hope you also once both owls can engrave foot:-)

  14. This is a truly amazing photo…I was speechless when I saw it on the OFO site this morning... thanks to John for sharing it.

    1. It really is remarkable, isn't it? I tried to find the owls myself but had no success. Last year I was fortunate to locate three Eastern Screech Owls - all of them grey morph.

  15. Fabulous photo, thanks for sharing it.