Urban night owl discovers new Echo Park nightspot

The evenings have recently attracted a new neighbor and sound to those living near Scott Avenue and Laveta Terrace in Echo Park. “There’s a screeching owl that [has come] to the corner of Scott and Laveta every night for the past week and a half,” said Cecilia Cabello. “I don’t know if he’s lost his way or if he’s looking for something but he is loud!” Cabello and boyfriend Mario Salazar (who snapped these photos) are not bothered by all the screeching.  However, Cabello worries if the owl – which might have a companion nearby –  is lost or hungry and in need of assistance.  Not to worry, says Jeffrey Chapman, director of the Audubon Center at Debs Park*.  The bird in question – a Barn Owl – appears to be in fine shape:

They are common all over the city.  It is not lost and probably lives and hunts nearby.  They eat small rodents (rats, mostly) and roost in either holes in trees or in attics or other “barn”-like structures.  Unlike the Great-horned owl that also lives in the area, who gives the common “whooo-whooo” call, this owl screeches while in flight.  I have seen them in Highland Park, Mt. Washington, Montecito Heights, and Eagle Rock.  Think of these guys as natural rodent control!  We are lucky to have them.

Photos by Mario Salazar

* The Audubon Center at Debs Park is an Eastsider advertiser.


  1. This guy lives in a palm tree on Laveta Terrace. He’s been living here for a couple months now and has a mate with two little ones up in a nest. They may be somewhat noisy neighbors, but they’re beautiful and we’re happy to have them here. These are such beautiful photos too!

  2. Please Mr. Owl, come to our house and chase away the mockingbirds.

  3. We are lucky indeed! I have heard the gentle whoo0-whooo in the night near Highland Park, and it is lovely. That barn owl is so beautiful, I wish all the city lights had such totems on top.

  4. so help me if this story starts an “owl gentrification” argument…

    Welcome to the neighborhood, Mr. Owl and family! I’d make you some house-warming rat cookies but that sounds disgusting and you probably wouldn’t return my tupperware.

  5. beautiful!

  6. Oh what I’d give to have him come to my yard instead of my plastic owl!

  7. Have seen this fellow at night when I water the lawn. I live above the intersection where photo was taken. Always amazing how silent the owl flies.

  8. Maybe these watchers of the night can keep the crime down in EP!

  9. Hi, Mr. Owl! Enjoy all the mice your little heart desires! Welcome to the neighborhood 🙂

  10. They are gorgeous and perfect for rat control. Just make sure you haven’t put out rat poison as this could seriously sicken and/or kill this lovely creature and all like him. Thanks 🙂

  11. yup..I live on Scott and every evening for some time now I’ve heard loud screeching coming from the palm trees on Laveta! I actually saw one of the adults take flight from the nest this evening. Very magical!

  12. I saw the owl last night fly over Sunset near Laveta around 10:30pm!

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