Screech Owl – Red Form

Q: I encountered this fine feathered fellow on a hike in Lumpkin county near Springer mountain.

My first ID was a screech owl, but after consulting with my Audubon guide it appears that this is not the case.

The bird was about 15-18″ tall and completely unbothered by being photographed. Any idea what it is?

A: My friend Jim Rogers at Nearly Native Nursery says it is a screech owl in his red feathered form. The gray feathered type is more common but this guy is showing off big time!