Screech Owl Looking Rough

Okay, not only is it the season for bald birds, but it's all the season for squirrel cannibalism. I'm suddenly getting a lot of comments on this old post, if anyone is interested in reading about squirrels eating squirrels and birds.

Boy, I would type a caption for what this bird would be saying about getting its picture taken, but I just don't use that kind of language (well, not in the blog anyway). Looks like somebody had one too many jello shooters.

This is the education gray phase eastern screech owl from the Raptor Center. If you saw the bald bird post from earlier this summer, you may have seen a link to Susan Gets Native's photo of her education red phase eastern screech owl also molting out all its head feathers at once. Perhaps we should get together with our ed birds. At least we will have a matched set.

And don't worry folks, like the bald cardinal or blue jay you may be seeing out your window, these owls will grow back all their facial feathers before winter. You know, I just thought of something. The feathers along the owls facial disc are supposed to direct sound to their ears. I wonder if a rough molt like this affects their hunting ability? That's kind of a moot point for the education screeches, they're fed dead and gutted mice. But if this happened to them in the wild, I wonder if they have relearn how they hunt?