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Eastern Screech-Owl

Eastern Screech-Owl
Scientific Classification
Order: Strigiformes
Binomial name
Otus asio

The Eastern Screech-Owl, Otus asio, is a small owl.

Adults have either rusty or dark grey plumage with streaking on the underparts. They have a round head with ear tufts, yellow eyes and a yellowish bill. Rusty birds are more common in the southern parts of the range; pairings of the two colour variants do occur. A pale grey variation also exists in western Canada and the north central United States.

Their breeding habitat is deciduous or mixed woods in eastern North America. They nest in a tree cavity, either natural or excavated by a woodpecker; they will also use nesting boxes.

They are usually permanent residents; birds at the northern parts of the range may change location.

These birds wait on a perch and swoop down on prey; they may also catch insects in flight. They mainly eat large insects and small rodents, also small birds. They are active at night or near dusk, using their excellent hearing and night vision to locate prey.

The call is a descending series of whistles or a long single trill.