Western Screech Owl kennicottii subspecies (Megascops kennicottii kennicottii), potential occurrence range for the Coast Region. Elevation 0–600 m. The coastal subspecies is distributed throughout the Coast Region including Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands (absent from Haida Gwaii). This subspecies was once considered to be one of the most common small owls in southwest BC but has shown a strong decline since the 1990’s, especially near settlement areas in the Fraser Lowlands and southern Vancouver Island.
Recent inventory work on the South Coast (2015-2017) indicated the subspecies appeared to still be relatively abundant in the Pemberton area, but "elss common in Whistler, Squamish and the Chilliwack area".
While this subspecies is primarily associated with riparian or low elevation forests, it can also be found in treed urban and suburban environments, and at the edge of forested habitats close to wetlands or fields. Western Screech Owl is a secondary cavity nester, dependent on other species such as Pileated Woodpecker and Northern Flicker to excavate nesting
cavities. This owl will also readily use nest boxes. Breeding territories are closely associated with riparian or low-mid elevation forest habitats and must contain at least two suitable cavities which are used for both nesting and roosting. Where optimal habitat occurs, home range sizes can be very small, and are generally assessed at 2.5–10 ha. Young of the year disperse from the natal area, with females traveling about three times as far as males (about 15 km vs. 5 km) in the first 3 months of dispersal. In British Columbia, nests ranged from 1.2 to 12.2 m above ground; all nests reported were in trees >25 cm dbh. Day roosts are usually in deciduous trees with a mean height of 21.2 m, at an average of 4.6 m high. The tree density around roosts tends to be greater than in the surrounding forest.
A non-specific predator, this subspecies preys on small animals,including mice, shrews, birds, insects, frogs, salamanders,crayfish, fish, and a range of insects and even worms. Western Screech Owl has also been observed scavenging from small mammal carcasses in California, a behaviour that may be more common than is currently recognized.
Breeding begins at one year, birds are monogamous and breed every year.