The Eastern screech owl is a small owl, about 6-10 inches (15-25 cm) in height and weighing 4-8 ounces (113-227 g). They have distinctive ear tufts on top of the head that are used to help them camouflage in the trees. A Screech owl's color varies from grey to reddish-brown feathers with intricate patterns of white and black. As a nocturnal species, they are primarily active at night, which is when you are likely to hear their trilling call, which can sound like a horse's whinny or a bouncing ball.
Habitat and Distribution:
Native to North America, from eastern Canada to Mexico
Found in a wide range of habitats including forests, woodlands, parks, and suburban areas with mature trees
Prefer areas with cavities or tree hollows for nesting and roosting
Eastern Screech Owls have an average lifespan of 3-5 years in the wild, but can live up to 15 years in captivity
Females lay 3-4 eggs per clutch, and both parents share incubation duties for about a month
Juveniles fledge at about 4 weeks and become independent after about 2 months
Eastern Screech Owls are known for their excellent camouflage, which allows them to blend in with their surroundings and avoid detection by predators and prey.
They have very flexible necks that can rotate up to 270 degrees, which helps them see in all directions without moving their bodies.
Eastern Screech Owls are skilled hunters, feeding on a variety of prey including insects, small mammals, birds, and reptiles.
Commonly found in Florida backyards, the Eastern Screech Owl utilizes camouflage and mimicry to remain undetected, sometimes even posing like a branch. They are devoted parents but prefer seeking out an abandoned woodpecker nest to building one from scratch.