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Eastern Screech Owls are Very Flexible

Nov 10, 2016

Learn about November Bird of the Month’s adaptability


Throughout 2016, the Forest Preserves of Cook County invites visitors to see some of the most interesting native and migrating birds in the Preserves.


Each month during the Forest Preserves’ 2016 Bird the Preserves initiative, a new bird will be highlighted. Visitors will have the opportunity to spot the bird of the month at an event or program, and learn what makes that bird so special. The November Bird of the Month is the eastern screech owl.


Eastern screech owls are not picky. When it comes to habitat, nesting and diet, these owls adapt to what they find:


  • Habitat: In their range, screech owls can live anywhere with trees—including farmland edges, suburbs and city parks
  • Nesting: They nest in existing cavities and don’t excavate further or add any nesting materials. They readily nest in tree openings formed by other animals, nest boxes and even the occasional mailbox.
  • Diet: Screech owls eat almost any kind of small animal, including many types of mammals, birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians. If they can catch it, they’ll eat it.


To see the November Bird of the Month, check out this events:


Owl Prowl

Friday, November 18 • 7 pm

River Trail Nature Center, 3120 Milwaukee Ave, Northbrook


Nocturnal Hunters—Owls

Sunday November 20 • 1:30 pm

River Trail Nature Center, 3120 Milwaukee Ave, Northbrook


The Eastern Screech Owl

Saturday, November 26 • 1:30 pm

Sand Ridge Nature Center, 15891 S Paxton Ave, South Holland


In addition to learning about the featured Bird of the Month and enjoying birding programs and events, birders of all skill levels can explore the preserves with teams competing in the Forest Preserves’ Big Year birding competition. During the Big Year competition, the preserves compete instead of the people. Participants will visit their team’s preserve and log all bird sightings in eBird, an online birding checklist program. All are welcome to join these searches and binoculars will be available for loan.


The competition runs from March 1 to Dec. 31, and is a great way to challenge yourself and explore a local preserve, make new friends and experience what birding is all about. To learn more about the Big Year competition, visit


Join a growing movement of nature lovers and bird the preserves this year while enjoying the many amenities offered throughout the Forest Preserves, including miles of marked trails, major waterways that can be canoed or kayaked, dedicated nature preserves and more.


Support for Bird the Preserves was generously provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through Chicago Wilderness. For more information, visit For additional information about the Big Year competition, visit




Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County