Eastern Screech Owl

Eastern Screech Owl

Otus asio

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Eastern Woodlands

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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. The eastern screech owl is the smallest "eared" owl east of the Rocky Mountains. Screech owls mate for life, nesting each spring in the cavities and hollows of trees.

Our Animal's Story

We have one eastern screech owl on exhibit. Marbles is a red-phase screech owl that hatched in 2004. She arrived at the Zoo in 2005 from a local wildlife rehabilitator after she sustained an eye injury out in the wild. Due to her injury, she couldn't be returned to the wild.

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