Eastern Screech Owl

Eastern Screech Owl   Megascops asio

Type of Animal:

Closed & open woodland/forest, suburbs, parks, farm groves, urban areas, shade trees, riparian areas (areas by water), mountainous areas, scrubby brush, woodlots, swamps, river valleys, fields, meadows, marshy areas, wetlands, forest edge, rural areas, chaparral, scrub forest, desert, savanna, grassland

Much of C & E US except for much of Maine, N Wisconsin, NE Minnesota, & Upper Peninsula of Michigan & can be found as far W as E Montana & can also be found in small parts of S Canada in SE Ontario, S Quebec, SW Manitoba, & extreme SE Saskatchewan as well as NE Mexico.

2 main morphs-gray & rufous/red, short stocky bird, rounded wings, yellow eyes, short square tail, pointed ear tufts, rare brown morph found in Florida, smaller & darker owls in south & east, larger & lighter owls in north & west.

Mice, rats, tree & ground squirrels, voles, moles, rabbits, shrews, chipmunks, bats, songbirds up to size of jays, grouse, pigeons, doves, shorebirds, woodpeckers, smaller owls (including own species sometimes), beetles, grasshoppers, cicadas, crickets, moths, centipedes, spiders, katydids, snails, leeches, millipedes, scorpions, earthworms, crayfish, amphibians, lizards, woodcocks, bobwhite, baby turtles, fish, snakes, carrion, crabs

Status in Wild:

Not applicable

Solitary or monogamous pairs

Additional Info:



Male-5.5-5.9 oz
Female-6.5-6.8 oz

1 month

Life Span:
10 years in wild, up to 20 years in captivity

Male-6.3-9.4 in
Female-7.1-9.4 in

Body Length:
Male-6.3-9.4 in
Female-7.1-9.4 in

Tail Length:
Male-2.44 in
Female-3.93 in

Main predators of adults are foxes, bobcats, bears, wolves, coyotes, eagles, falcons, other owls, hawks, & ravens. Young preyed on by weasels, mink, raccoons, ringtails, skunks, snakes, crows, jays, & opossums. Fox squirrels eat eggs.

Have wingspan of 15 inches.

Very good at camouflage & highly adaptable.

Like most owls, they’re nocturnal.

Fun Fact(s):
They’ll puff up when confronted by predators.

Despite their name, they don’t screech. Rather, they whinny & trill.

Like many owls, they use silent flight technique when hunting.

They can squint their eyes & then sway back and forth to act like a branch.

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