Eastern Screech Owl

Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Otus
Species: asio

La. strix  owl
La. strigis owl
iLa. forma form, shape, kind
La. -idae appearance, resemblance
Gr. otis buzzard with long ear feathers
La. asio horned owl
La. axio horned owl

A small owl, eight to ten inches long with a wingspan of almost two feet.

Predominantly rusty red with light and dark brown or black streaks, or gray with black steaks and a fine yellowish tint and variations in between.

Painting of a screech owl perched on a stump.
White undersides with crossed black streaks. Conspicuous ear tufts and black circles around yellow eyes.

Eastern Screech Owls Inhabit forests, groves, swamps, orchards, parks, small towns, and suburbs in eastern North America, from southern Canada to Mexico and from the Great Plains to the East Coast.

USGS map shows eastern screech owls range in North America, from southern Canada to northwest Mexico and from the Great Plains to the East Coast.
The screech owl is more closely associated with human’s activities than other owls due to the abundance of prey, numerous nesting and roosting sites, and reduced competition in urban areas.
Since ancient times the owl or those who encounter it have been regarded as unlucky, a superstition perpetuated in particular by the screech owls proximity to people, its nocturnal nature and its eerie shivering, descending wail.

They have been made into pets, although it is best for all observed in its own. Left to its choice the Screech Owl is a good neighbor controlling the local mice population.

An owl’s fluffy feather edges reduce the noise of flight. Many neighbors are unaware of the Screech Owl’s presence until the bird swoops like a shadow toward an intruder, hooting and snapping its bill as it pulls up in the last second.

They usually keep out of site during the day, but if they venture out, they stir up a commotion among song birds.

Painting of a pair of screech owls perched on tree branches near a tree cavity entrance.
Nocturnal hunters, screech owls stealthily prey on unsuspecting mice, insects, frogs, snakes, lizards, crayfish and fish.

They build scanty loose nests of sticks, leaves and feathers in natural or abandoned tree cavities, sometimes in barns and sheds or in nest boxes.

Females lay around four to eight white eggs which hatch after less than one month of incubation and young leave the nest in about another month.

The Eastern Screech Owl Nest Box (same as for Western Screech Owl, Kestrel and Barrow’s Goldeneye) has an 8″ by 8″ floor, 15″ inside floor to ceiling, 3″ diameter entrance hole located 12″ above the floor and ventilation openings in the floor and under the ceiling.

Assemble with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes to reduce wood splitting. Place a bed of wood chips, not sawdust, on the floor.

Mount out of reach (10 feet or higher) near woodland edges or clearings, small tree stands or under the eave of a farm out building within moderate distance of wetlands. Face south so they can sun themselves through the hole in winter.

Woodpeckers, other owls and squirrels may use this box.

 

Hoots and Shivering Cries of the Screech Owl

Sheet music of the screech owl calls

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Eastern Screech Owl

Shivering cry of the screech owl by Simon Pease Cheney
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Otus
Species: asio

La. strix  owl
La. strigis owl
iLa. forma form, shape, kind
La. -idae appearance, resemblance
Gr. otis buzzard with long ear feathers
La. asio horned owl
La. axio horned owl

A small owl, eight to ten inches long with a wingspan of almost two feet.

Predominantly rusty red with light and dark brown or black streaks, or gray with black steaks and a fine yellowish tint and variations in between.

White undersides with crossed black streaks. Conspicuous ear tufts and black circles around yellow eyes.

USGS map shows eastern screech owls range in North America, from southern Canada to northwest Mexico and from the Great Plains to the East Coast.
Eastern Screech Owls Inhabit forests, groves, swamps, orchards, parks, small towns, and suburbs in eastern North America, from southern Canada to Mexico and from the Great Plains to the East Coast.

The screech owl is more closely associated with human’s activities than other owls due to the abundance of prey, numerous nesting and roosting sites, and reduced competition in urban areas.

Since ancient times the owl or those who encounter it have been regarded as unlucky, a superstition perpetuated in particular by the screech owls proximity to people, its nocturnal nature and its eerie shivering, descending wail.

They have been made into pets, although it is best for all observed in its own. Left to its choice the Screech Owl is a good neighbor controlling the local mice population.

Painting of a pair of screech owls perched on tree branches near a tree cavity entrance.
An owl’s fluffy feather edges reduce the noise of flight. Many neighbors are unaware of the Screech Owl’s presence until the bird swoops like a shadow toward an intruder, hooting and snapping its bill as it pulls up in the last second.

Nocturnal hunters, screech owls stealthily prey on unsuspecting mice, insects, frogs, snakes, lizards, crayfish and fish,

They usually keep out of site during the day, but if they venture out, they stir up a commotion among song birds.

They build scanty loose nests of sticks, leaves and feathers in natural or abandoned tree cavities, sometimes in barns and sheds or in nest boxes.

Females lay around four to eight white eggs which hatch after less than one month of incubation and young leave the nest in about another month.

The Eastern Screech Owl Nest Box (same as for Western Screech Owl, Kestrel and Barrow’s Goldeneye) has an 8″ by 8″ floor, 15″ inside floor to ceiling, 3″ diameter entrance hole located 12″ above the floor and ventilation openings in the floor and under the ceiling.

Select to view or print eastern screech owl nest box plans.
Assemble with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes to reduce wood splitting. Place a bed of wood chips, not sawdust, on the floor.

Mount out of reach (10 feet or higher) near woodland edges or clearings, small tree stands or under the eave of a farm out building within moderate distance of wetlands.

Face south so they can sun themselves through the hole in winter.

Woodpeckers, other owls and squirrels may use this box.

Hoots and Shivering Cries of the Screech Owl

Sheet music of the screech owl calls

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