Draper Museum Raptor Experience
Monte: Eastern Screech-owl
January 2024: It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of the Raptor Experience’s Screech-owl, Monte. In 2023, a mass was found in her abdomen that could not be surgically removed or treated medically, so her caregivers kept her comfortable as long as possible. Since arriving to the Raptor Program on August 23, 2017, Monte has participated in 529 programs, reaching more than 27,000 people. During her time as a virtual education program star, she taught students in 20 states and Canada. She was a great bird and will be sorely missed. 🦉❤️
As a tribute to Monte, we share this “Museum Minute” from 2021:
About the Bird:
Monte was a female Eastern Screech-owl who hatched in 2017. She was found near Roberts, Montana, with the tip of her right wing missing, most likely due to a vehicle collision. Her poor flight prevented her from surviving well in the wild.
General Species Info:
The Eastern Screech-owl is found throughout most of the eastern half of the United States, generally east of the Rocky Mountains into parts of southeastern Canada and northeastern Mexico.
Eastern Screech-owls prefer almost any habitat with abundant tree cover. Tree cavities or nest boxes are crucial, but Eastern Screech-owls have successfully existed in farmland, suburban landscapes, and city parks.
Eastern Screech-owls eat most kinds of small animals, including small birds and mammals as well as surprisingly large numbers of earthworms, insects, crayfish, tadpoles, frogs, and lizards. They eat many types of mammals, ranging from mice, rats, moles, squirrels, and rabbits. Some have even been documented catching small fish!
Notes from Staff:
Monte is a little firecracker of an owl. She is extra vigilant for possible predators during programs in the garden. Raptor program handlers always hold her closer than the other raptors so she feels less exposed.