Eastern Screech-Owl

The Eastern Screech-Owl is a small, nocturnal bird of prey found throughout much of eastern North America. Despite their small size, these birds are fierce predators and are known for their distinctive call that sounds like a horse whinnying.

Basic Description

The Eastern Screech-Owl stands at around 7-10 inches tall and has a wingspan of approximately 18-24 inches. They have large, round heads with prominent ear tufts which help to camouflage them in the forest undergrowth. The owl’s feathers can range from gray to brown, red or even black depending on the subspecies.

Where To Find This Bird

As previously mentioned, the Eastern Screech-Owl is found throughout much of eastern North America including parts of Canada and Mexico. These owls prefer woodland habitats but can also be found in suburban areas where there are plenty of trees for roosting.


Eastern Screech-Owls prefer wooded areas with plenty of cover such as deciduous forests and coniferous forests as well as mixed woodlands. They require mature trees for nesting sites which include natural hollows or abandoned woodpecker holes.


Screech Owls primarily feed on insects such as crickets and beetles but will also eat small mammals including mice and voles along with other birds if necessary.

Cool Facts

-Unlike many other owl species who hunt primarily at night, screech owls may also hunt during dawn and dusk.
-Eastern Screech Owls mate for life,
-Females lay eggs (up to six) between March-May
-The parent owls take turns incubating the eggs until they hatch after four weeks
-Chicks then remain in the nest another month before being able to fly
-Eastern Screech-Owls have excellent camouflage, with their feathers matching the bark of trees, making it hard to detect them in daylight hours.
-They can rotate their necks up to 270 degrees.