By Eric Burson (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Eric Burson (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Bakersx3 (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Bakersx3 (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio)

Range
A resident species in Virginia. Found from New England south to Florida, and west to the Rockies.

Size
Length           6-10 inches
Wingspan     19-24 inches
Weight          4-9 ounces

Habitat
Open woodlands, forest clearings, old orchards, suburban parklands. Fond of old trees with cavities for hiding and nesting.

Diet
Small mammals such as mice and voles, insects such as grasshoppers, small birds, reptiles, etc.

Characteristics
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.


Meet RCV's resident education Eastern Screech Owls - Smoke, Fire and Rocket!