I found a surprise in our chicken coop Saturday morning — an owl perched on the chickens’ roosting bars! It was small — about half a foot tall — with some pretty vicious looking claws. I think it was an Eastern Screech Owl. It was short and stocky with ear tufts and yellow eyes. I couldn’t get very good pictures of it, as the lighting wasn’t very good (see photos below). We had quite the time of it trying to get him out. He flew from one end of the coop to the other, but, since it was morning, he was inclined to sleep. We left him until evening, and then left the coop door open overnight. He was gone the next morning.
Painting: Megascops asio (syn. Otus asio) by John James Audubon (1785 – 1851).