Eastern Screech-Owl

Eastern Screech-Owl
Scientific Name:
Megascops asio
Population Status:
Least Concern
Body Length:
6-10 inches
20 inches
5-7 ounces

Did you know?

  • The Eastern Screech-owl is slightly smaller than the Western Screech-owl.
  • This owl's color ranges from gray to brown to reddish. The chicks in a nest may be different colors.
  • Dead tree snags are important to cavity nesters like these owls. In the United States, there are about 85 species of birds and 45 species of mammals that use natural tree cavities as nests and roosts.

Where they live

Eastern Screech-Owls are found in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, as well as southern Canada and northeastern Mexico.

Why they need our help

These owls are common in their range.

What they eat

Their diet consists mainly of insects, small mammals, birds, crayfish, and earthworms. Their main hunting strategy is to survey prey from a perched position then swoop down to catch the prey. They also forage while walking along the ground.

Nest, eggs and young

They nest in natural tree cavities, old woodpecker holes, or man-made nest boxes. The female lays 3-7 eggs that are incubated for 26 days. Both parents feed their young. The owlets will leave the nest in about 25 -27 days but will be tended by the parents for another 5-6 weeks. Screech-owls can reproduce at 1 year of age.

Photo gallery

Photos needed! If you are a photographer and would be willing to donate photos of a Eastern Screech-Owl for use on this site, please contact grin@peregrinefund.org

What makes a raptor a raptor?