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.

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