Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio)
A resident species in Virginia. Found from New England south to Florida, and west to the Rockies.
Length 6-10 inches
Wingspan 19-24 inches
Weight 4-9 ounces
Open woodlands, forest clearings, old orchards, suburban parklands. Fond of old trees with cavities for hiding and nesting.
Small mammals such as mice and voles, insects such as grasshoppers, small birds, reptiles, etc.
Comes in red or grey phase plumages - these are the same species, and color is not linked to age or gender. Only small eastern owl with ear tufts. Uses old woodpecker holes, natural cavities, or even birdhouses (wood duck or flicker boxes with sawdust bottom are often accepted.) Call is a descending whinny or single rolling trill on one pitch, sometimes accelerating and growing louder.