Eastern Screech-Owl

Eastern Screech-Owl

Eastern Screech-Owl
(Megascops asio)

Order:  Strigiformes
Family:  Strigidae

Photo © art-today

Eastern Screech-Owl Information

Length:  8 - 10"

Habitat:  Open deciduous or mixed woodlands, orchards, residential areas, parks. Prefers habitat near open areas and requires trees with existing cavities for nesting.

Diet:  Insects, including moths,¬†katydids, beetles, and crickets; rodents such as mice and voles; amphibians, reptiles, crayfish; some small birds and fish.

  Songs and calls of the Eastern Screech-Owl

Interesting Facts about Eastern Screech-Owl

  • Being only 8 to 10 inches in length, the Eastern Screech-Owl is close to the size of a robin, but a different shape.
  • This owl normally uses natural tree cavities or old woodpecker holes for nesting, but will also use man-made nest boxes. It will eat in the nesting cavity and caches extra food there.
  • The Eastern Screech-Owl is nocturnal and roosts during the daytime hours. In the winter, it uses tree cavities for roosting - for protection from predators and from the cold. In the summer, it can roost on tree branches where it is hidden by the leaf cover.

    Additional Information
Eastern Screech-Owl
Habitat, diet, feeding behavior, nesting, migration, and conservation status of this owl. Includes range map, photos, and songs and calls. (From Audubon Field Guide)

Photo of Eastern Screech-Owl (Gray Phase)
By Mike Danzenbaker

Eastern Screech-Owl

Eastern Screech-Owl

By Bakersx3 [CC-BY-3.0], via WC

Eastern Screech-Owl
Identification Tips

  • Wingspan: 22 inches
  • Small, nocturnal, predatory bird
  • Large, rounded head with ear tufts
  • Yellow eyes
  • Dense streaking on underparts with finer barring
  • Some birds have rusty plumage, others dark gray
  • Sexes similar

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Eastern Screech-Owl
Range Maps from Cornell

Eastern Screech-Owl year-round range

Includes separate map of sightings.

Eastern Screech-Owl
Christmas Bird Count Map

Historical CBC Map from USGS