I often hear the screech owl around my place at night. Usually there are several birds sending messages to each other from various trees.
Although I heard them frequently and knew what they looked like, I had never seen them in the wild. They are a small owl and only comes out after the sun has gone down.
They are only about 4 - 5 inches tall and blend in with their surroundings. And so it was a surprise to me to find one sitting on a garden stake last evening when I went out at dusk to pick some herbs for a late evening meal. He stayed where he was until I was within 8 feet of him and then flew up into the oak tree nearby.
He called to me with the spooky kind of trill that he makes and I knew for sure it was a screech owl. Although they are called screech owls, they don't really screech as far as I tell. You can listen to how they sound by going to this link Screech Owl Sound .