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Animal Information

Eastern Screech Owl Eastern Woodlands

Eastern Screech Owl

Otus asio

Biome: Eastern Woodlands

Classification: Birds

Biography: The call of this small owl is not truly a screech, but actually a long, quavering trill. Although only eight inches tall, the screech owl can be fierce and bold, preying on a variety of insects, rodents and birds, including birds larger than itself. As with all owls, the indigestible fur, feathers, claws and bones of its prey are regurgitated in the form of a compact pellet. Occurring in either red or gray plumage, the eastern screech owl is well camouflaged in both oak and coniferous trees. Its distinctive ear tufts are actually feathers, not ears, and help the owl blend into its surroundings. Screech owls mate for life, nesting each spring in the cavities and hollows of trees.

The screech owl is the most abundant and familiar of all North American owls, ranging throughout the United States and northern Mexico. The eastern subspecies is the smallest "eared" owl east of the Rocky Mountains. They can be found in wooded or suburban areas.

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