Schlitz Audubon is excited to welcome Gimli, our new Eastern Screech Owl (Megascopes asio), into our Raptor Program.
How Gimli Became an Educational Ambassador
Gimli joins our team of amazing raptor ambassadors who help teach people about conservation and ecology through educational programming for all ages.
Gimli was found on the side of the road near Milton, WI in early November 2021 after it was suspected he was hit by a car. His finders brought him straight to Hoo’s Woods Raptor Center for care. It was quickly determined that due to the severity of his eye injury, the eye would need to be removed. It was also determined that Gimli is a first-year bird, hatched in 2021. Without an eye and the time necessary to develop his hunting skills in the wild, Gimli was deemed non-releasable. Hoo’s Woods Raptor Center contacted us, and Gimli joined our Raptor Program to be an educator.
About the Species
Eastern Screech Owls are found in deciduous and coniferous forests throughout the Eastern United States and Wisconsin. As adults, Eastern Screech Owls weigh 4-8 oz, and have a wingspan of 19-24 inches, making them the second smallest owl to call Wisconsin home. Due to their size and amazing camouflaging capabilities, they are more likely heard than seen. Their call is a bouncing trill often heard at dusk. To help them camouflage, Eastern Screech Owls can be three different color variations, or morphs: gray, red and brown. Gimli, as a red phase Eastern Screech Owl, completes the final morph in our Raptor Program.
Even though they are small, Eastern Screech Owls are fierce predators, eating a variety of prey items ranging from small mammals, birds, worms, snakes, and insects. They prefer nesting in cavities or man-made nest boxes, usually returning to the same nest year after year. In Southeastern Wisconsin we have a healthy population of Eastern Screech Owls, even within the city of Milwaukee.
Our raptor staff is working hard behind the scenes to prepare Gimli for educational programming, so stay tuned to meet our newest raptor ambassador in person soon!